Farmers gather at Singhu border near Delhi on Saturday to continue their protests against laws liberalising agricultural markets. (PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist)
Farmers' protest LIVE updates Day 29: The government on Thursday again invited protesting farmer unions for talks, but made it clear that it would not be "logical" to include in the agenda any new demand related to minimum support price (MSP), which is out of the purview of three new farm laws.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lok Shakti) moved the Supreme Court today challenging the three new farm laws, against which various farmer unions are staging protest at several border points of Delhi, and sought impleadment in the matter pending in the apex court.
Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala on Thursday said the new central farm laws need many amendments and urged protesting farmers to give "concrete suggestions".
Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the central government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that would remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.
However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for the elimination of the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporate players.
The government has repeatedly asserted that the MSP and Mandi systems will stay and has accused the Opposition of misleading farmers.
PM puts money in farmer accounts when polls are around: NCP
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi releasing the next instalment of funds for farmers under a central welfare scheme, the NCP on Thursday accused him of depositing money in peasants accounts when polls are around.
Speaking to reporters here, Maharashtra minister and NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said the BJP is not a party of farmers, but of those who loot agricultural produce".
Countering him, the Maharashtra BJP said the Modi government has taken several steps in the interest of farmers and alleged it is the NCP which did not help cultivators when in power.
Kisan Sena warns of bigger protest if farm laws repealed
Terming the three farm laws beneficial for the farmers, the Kisan Sena has requested the government not to repeal them and warned of a bigger protest if they are withdrawal.
Representatives of Kisan Sena from 15 districts of Uttar Pradesh met Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday and extended their support to the new laws.
The representatives of Kisan Sena have urged the Union Agriculture Minister not to repeal the three agricultural reform laws on any condition.
Agri laws need many amendments, urge farmers to give concrete suggestions: Haryana Deputy CM
Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala on Thursday said the new central farm laws need many amendments and urged protesting farmers to give "concrete suggestions". The Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) leader reiterated that he will tender his resignation the day he feels he is unable to ensure the minimum support price (MSP) for the farmers' produce in Haryana.
Addressing a press conference here, the deputy chief minister said, "I believe many amendments should be there. On this, we have given several suggestions to the Centre earlier and they too agreed on many of them."
"I think the Centre is ready to incorporate those amendments," he added. He, however, said if farmers feel more amendment or changes are required, then he is willing to mediate.
If the Centre entrusts me with the responsibility to mediate on those amendments/changes that are not being included, I am ready to do the needful, he said. In response to another question, Chautala said the Centre is repeatedly inviting farmer unions for talks and it was the responsibility of the outfits to give "concrete suggestions" regarding their demands.
Centre has no record of meetings with farmers' groups: RTI query
In a surprise revelation under the RTI, the Centre has stated that it has no records of any kind pertaining to meetings or discussions with farmers' organisations before finalising the three farm bills, an activist said here on Thursday.
Mumbai-based RTI activist and social campaigner Jatin Desai had filed a query with the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare seeking details of the same.
"I had posed three simple queries on how many meetings were held with the farmers organisations before the three farm Ordinances were promulgated, where these took place or who was invited for them, and also how many meetings conducted to discuss the draft laws between the Ordinances and passing of the bills in Parliament," Desai told IANS. READ MORE...
BJP dares Rahul for debate, says Congress always ignored farmers' interests
The BJP on Thursday challenged Rahul Gandhi for an open debate on what the Congress did for farmers' welfare when in power and what the Modi government has done for them, as it rejected his allegations against the Centre as "baseless and illogical".
Union minister Prakash Javadekar accused the Congress of ignoring farmers' interests and keeping them poor to ensure cheap grain prices, and asserted that the Modi government empowered them by implementing the Swaminathan commission report to give them remunerative price through MSP.
The BJP leader noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will transfer Rs 18,000 crore to nine crore farmers on Friday, taking to a total of Rs 1.20 lakh crore the amount of money it has directly credited to their bank accounts so far.
"This is merely the beginning. It will continue for 10 years and the total scheme is of Rs seven lakh crore," he said, noting that the all the Congress did when it was in power was to waive their loans amounting to Rs 53,000 crore. This money was not given to farmers but to banks against their loans, he noted.
21-member delegation of Kisan Sena today held a meeting on supporting farm laws with Agriculture Minister
Delhi: 21-member delegation of Kisan Sena today held a discussion on supporting Centre's 3 Farm laws with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar at Krishi Bhawan pic.twitter.com/cu9nV6Wvxb
Supportive farmer groups from UP meet Narendra Singh Tomar, urge Govt not to repeal Acts
Extending support to three new farm laws, two farmer organisations from Uttar Pradesh on Thursday met Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and urged him not to repeal the Acts, against which several other unions have been protesting on various borders of the national capital for almost a month now. Kisan Mazdoor Sangh (KMS) and Kisan Sena (KS) made a representation, which also included a demand for strengthening the dispute resolution system in case of any trouble in contract farming.
So far, at least 12 farmers group have extended their support for the laws, the previous ones being from Uttarakhand, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, among other places.
BJP leader and former Union Minister Satya Pal Singh was also present in the meeting with a delegation of KMS from Baghpat district. After the meeting, Singh told reporters that Punjab farmers alone are protesting because the commission agents fear losing their business if trade without tax is allowed outside mandis under the new farm laws.
Kisan Sena farmers were coming to Delhi to protest in support of Farm Laws: Agriculture Minister
I want to thank you all for supporting 3 Farm laws & coming here for a direct dialogue with us. I got to know that Kisan Sena farmers were coming to Delhi to protest in support of Farm Laws, but then upon intervention, you decided to come here & talk to us: Agriculture Minister https://t.co/kGwUTtKIUdpic.twitter.com/VmdPaCPVnT
New agri laws making farmers feel insecure: Sachin Pilot
The Centre should repeal the new agri laws as they are making farmers feel insecure about their future, Congress leader Sachin Pilot said on Thursday. The former deputy chief minister of Rajasthan said the Congress is working hard to ensure that the organisation and the state government fulfil the promises made to the people of the state.
"The centre should stop being stubborn and withdraw the farm laws with immediate effect. The farmers are feeling insecure about their future. They are very concerned, Pilot told reporters in Pali.
He said the executive of the state unit of the Congress will be announced in December and political appointments will take place in January. AICC (All India Congress Committee) general secretary in charge for Rajasthan Ajay Maken has said several times that the executive of the PCC (Pradesh Congress Committee) will be announced in December and political appointments will take place in January in the state," he said.
"The objective of all of us is to make the organisation and the government stand up to the expectation of people and we are working in that direction, he added.
Farmers from UP gave a letter in support of agri laws: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar
Farmers from Baghpat have given me a letter in support of Centre's Farm Laws. They've told me that govt shouldn't buckle under any pressure to make amendments to Farm bills: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar after meeting Kisaan Mazdoor Sangh members from Baghpat https://t.co/tBtICmThfbpic.twitter.com/X0AHKPiquQ
Haryana Dy CM Chautala says farm laws need amendments, urges farmers to give concrete suggestions
Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala on Thursday said the new central farm laws need many amendments and urged protesting farmers to give "concrete suggestions".
The Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) leader reiterated that he will tender his resignation the day he feels he is unable to ensure minimum support price (MSP) to farmers in Haryana. Addressing a press conference here, the deputy chief minister said, "I believe that many amendments should be there. On this, we have given many suggestions to the Centre earlier and they too were agreeable on many suggestions."
"I think the Centre is ready to incorporate those amendments," he added. At another point in the briefing, Chautala said the Centre was repeatedly inviting the farmer unions to talks, and it was the responsibility of these outfits to give "concrete suggestions" regarding their demands.
He hoped that the protesting farmers resume dialogue with the Centre to resolve their concerns over the three new laws.
Traffic to Delhi hit as pro-agri law farmers gather in Noida
Traffic movement from Noida to Delhi was affected on Thursday afternoon as hundreds of farmers, who support the Centre's new agriculture laws, assembled near the Mahamaya Flyover here, officials said.
These farmers, belonging to various districts of western Uttar Pradesh, have come for the demonstration on the call of farmers' union Kisan Sena and want to go to Delhi to meet Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, according to the outfit's conevnor Thakur Gauri Shankar Singh.
This demonstration in Noida comes even as two major farmers' unions the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) and the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lok Shakti) are camping at the city's border for over three weeks now to demand the repeal of the three new central farm laws.
Besides them, thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, have stayed put for nearly a month at other border points of Delhi, including Singhu and Tikri, to protest against the laws.
Whatever Rahul Gandhi says, even Congress doesn't take it seriously: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar
Whatever Rahul Gandhi says, even Congress doesn't take it seriously. Today when he went to register his protest with President with signatures, these farmers told me that no one from Congress came to them to get their signature: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar https://t.co/V5fWXLGOecpic.twitter.com/rpWbA1XwRr
Congress' character always been anti-farmer: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar
If Rahul Gandhi was so worried, then he could have done something for farmers, when his govt was in power. Congress' character has always been anti-farmer: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi meeting President today over Farm Laws https://t.co/v4ZT271Yczpic.twitter.com/0co7sBvk0D
Govt again invites farmer unions for talks, says it won't be logical to discuss MSP-related demand
The government on Thursday again invited protesting farmer unions for talks, but made it clear that it would not be "logical" to include in the agenda any new demand related to minimum support price (MSP), which is out of the purview of three new farm laws.
In a three-page letter written to 40 farmer leaders, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Vivek Aggarwal said, "I again request you that the government has been discussing all issues with open heart and good intention to end the protest, and will continue to do so. Kindly suggest a date and time (for the next round of talks)."
Previous five rounds of talks between the government and the unions have failed to break the deadlock with the farmers insisting on repeal of the three laws and camping at various border points of Delhi for nearly a month now.
Aggarwal asked the union leaders to provide details of other issues they want to discuss. The talks will be held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi at a ministerial level, he said. On MSP, Aggarwal said the farm laws have no connection with the price regime nor would have any impact on the procurement of farm produce at the fixed rates.
A delegation of 60 farmers meets Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar
Delhi: A delegation of 60 farmers belonging to Kisaan Majdoor Sangh, Baghpat meets Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar at Krishi Bhawan pic.twitter.com/v1KWxShAKZ
President should guide government to end farmer stalemate: Shashi Tharoor
Before submitting a memorandum of support to farmers' protest to President Ram Nath Kovind, Congress leader and MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said that the President has an important moral role in guiding the government to take steps towards resolving the stalemate.
"The stand of the party is well-known. We want the government to atone for their complete lack of consultation with the farmers before passing these bills by making a serious effort to address their concerns," Tharoor told ANI.
"I think the President has a very important moral role in encouraging and guiding the government and telling them not to stand on their legislative pride and prevent a resolution to the problem," he added. READ ON...
Basketball player Satnam Singh joins farmers' protest at Singhu border
Delhi: Basketball player Satnam Singh joins farmers' protest at Singhu border.
Govt writes to agitating farmers, asks them to decide date and time for next round of talks
Govt writes to agitating farmers, asking them to decide the date and time for the next round of talks. "Govt is committed to reaching logical solutions of the issues raised by you," it reads. pic.twitter.com/tBglPwi8fs
Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lok Shakti) has moved the Supreme Court challenging the three new farm laws, against which various farmer unions are staging protest at several border points of Delhi, and sought impleadment in the matter pending in the apex court. In an application seeking impleadment in the pending petition, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Lok Shakti) has claimed that the new farm laws promote corporate interest and are not concerned with the interest of farmers.
The plea, filed through advocate A P Singh, alleged that these acts are unconstitutional and anti-farmer as it would dismantle the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) system intended to ensure fair prices for farm products.
The implementation of the acts in its current form will spell disaster for the farming community by opening a parallel market which is unregulated and gives enough place for exploitation of the Indian farmers, the application said.
As farmers' protest continues, commuters suffer, forced to walk several kms every day
The ongoing farmers' protest on different borders of the national capital has disrupted daily lives of commuters as they are forced to walk for several kilometres every day before they reach either their destination or find other means of transportation to commute. Since the agitation, which began on November 26, 60-year-old Satish Mishra, who regularly takes the route through Singhu border, had to walk four kilometres daily to his office at 9 am.
"Bus drops passengers at Tikri Mor from where we all walk for at least three to four kilometres before we reach our destination. I board the bus 1.30 hours before my scheduled time to reach office on time as I have to walk for four kilometres. It is becoming difficult much more because of the winter," Mishra told ANI.
Like Mishra, several others can be found walking through entire protest stretch in a hurry to reach their destinations in the morning. However, many of their condition has worsened and developed severe joint pains.
Rahul meets Prez over farm laws, Priyanka Gandhi detained during protest
Sharpening its attack on the government over the new three farm laws, the Congress on Thursday staged a strong protest outside the Congress headquarters here after they were prevented from marching towards Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and party MPs and leaders staged a sit-in protest outside their office and were detained by the Delhi Police for violating prohibitory orders. Read on...
No democracy in India under the current regime, says Rahul Gandhi
#WATCH | There is no democracy in India. It can be in your imagination, but not in reality: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Delhi Police taking party leaders into custody during their march to Rashtrapati Bhavan pic.twitter.com/7oYfUDEkEM
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.