LIVE: Manmohan, Pawar wanted farm reforms during UPA regime, says Tomar

A farmer shout slogans during a protest against farm bills at Singhu Border in New Delhi on Thursday.
Farmers' protest LIVE updates Day 32: Protesting farmer unions agreed "in-principle" to a government proposal for holding the next round of talks on the new agricultural laws on December 30, but insisted the agenda of the meeting should include discussing modalities for repealing the three legislations. So far, five rounds of formal talks held between the Centre and 40 protesting farmer unions remained inconclusive. 

The stir by thousands of farmers who are camping on Delhi's borders in harsh winters to press for the repeal of three new central agriculture laws has entered a second month.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday said former prime minister Manmohan Singh and the then agriculture minister Sharad Pawar wanted to bring farm reforms during the UPA regime, but could not implement them due to "political pressure". Tomar also asserted the Modi government will not take any decisions detrimental to the poor and farmers.

Yesterday, farmers marked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann ki Baat’. By beating plates, we ensured no one would hear his talk,” said Jagmohan Singh, general secretary of the Dakonda (Punjab) unit of the Bharatiya Kisan Union.

Security remains tight at the Delhi borders with hundreds of personnel deployed at Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri where the farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh, have been camping since the last week of November.

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Farmers raise slogans against Sukhbir Singh Badal, try to gherao him in Punjab

A group of farmers raised slogans against Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal and tried to gherao him when he visited Gurdwara Sri Fatehgarh Sahib here on Monday. The farmers protesting against the Centre's new farm laws also waved black flags at Badal. The police, however, secured an alternative route for Badal's motorcade to leave the area.


Badal's SAD had quit the BJP-led ruling alliance at the Centre in protest against the farm laws and has extended support to the agitating farmers. But the farmers alleged that the SAD and its erstwhile ally BJP have cheated the farmers of Punjab. Badal reached the gurdwara to pay obeisance on Monday, a day after a three-day traditional 'Shaheedi Jor Mela' concluded there. He also interacted with mediapersons there. Soon after, a group of farmers reached there and raised slogans against him. They also tried to gherao him, but the police ensured a safe passage for the leader.

Farmers' protest: Over 1,500 telecom towers damaged in Punjab, services hit

More than 1,500 telecom towers in Punjab have been damaged by farmers protesting against the three farm laws, disrupting services in some pockets, sources said. Power supply to towers that relay telecom signals was snapped and cables cut in several parts of the state as farmers vented their anger on the infrastructure owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani's firm Jio as they saw him along with infrastructure tycoon Gautam Adani as major beneficiaries of the new laws.
 

Neither Ambani's Reliance group nor Adani's companies are into the business of procuring foodgrains from farmers. "Till yesterday, 1,411 towers were damaged and today the count has gone well past 1,500," a source with knowledge of the matter said. In Jalandhar, some bundles of Jio's fibre cable were also burnt. Jio has 9,000 plus towers in the state. Read more
 

Protesting farmer unions agree to Centre's proposal of holding next round of talks on Dec 30

Repeated failures of talks with farmers would escalate unrest in rural India: Sitaram Yechury

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the opposition parties might be supporting the farmers but have no direct role in the agitation against new farm laws. "Over 200 farmer unions have come under the banner of Sanyukt Kisam Morcha(SKM) and have been opposing the pro-corporate farm laws for past several months. We are with the SKM but let me clarify, the entire agitation is being piloted by farmer leaders. It would be better if government breaks ice with them(SKM) instead of blaming the opposition for failure of the ongoing talks, " Yechury told IANS while advocating the stand of all opposition parties.
 

Manmohan, Pawar wanted farm reforms during UPA regime, failed under political pressure: Tomar

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday said former prime minister Manmohan Singh and the then agriculture minister Sharad Pawar wanted to bring farm reforms during the UPA regime, but could not implement them due to "political pressure". Tomar also asserted the Modi government will not take any decisions detrimental to the poor and farmers.
 
The minister was addressing representatives of 11 farmer organisations from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Haryana, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir who had come to extend support for the three farm laws.
 
"Under the leadership of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi, whatever positive steps are taken for bringing reforms, some section have opposed them. However, these reforms have been instrumental in changing the picture of the country," an official statement quoted Tomar having said in the meeting with the farm groups.
 
The government is in talks with protesting farmer unions as well and is trying to end the logjam through dialogue, he added. Asserting that the Modi government would never take any decision which will have a negative impact on the poor and farmers in villages, Tomar said, "Some forces are making futile efforts to fulfill their plans/designs using the shoulder of farmers."

Villagers Punjab vandalise a telecom tower to express support towards farmers protesting against three bills

Amid chilling temperature, farmer protests bare bodied with tricolour painted on him

Notwithstanding the chilling temperature of the national capital, Vikas Yadav has been protesting the three Central farm laws at the Singhu border bare bodied with the tricolour painted on him. With slogans written on his arms and face, the farmer from Uttar Pradesh's Kannauj region said he hoped this would draw the government's attention towards the agitation.
 
"Nobody is listening to us. We are living on the road, but nobody is paying any attention. Maybe now they will," said Yadav, who arrived at the protest site a week ago. He "protested quietly" for a week and hoped for things to change. But after getting "frustrated" by the "inaction" of the government, he paid Rs 200 to get his body painted. For him, painting his body was a show of "farmers' unity and strength".
 
"The government has been ignoring us. I came here a week back and nothing has changed. They don't care if the farmers are out on the road in this cold. They won't care even if we die.

Farm laws will be implemented and will succeed in explaining to farmers; Agriculture Minister

Govt invites farmers for talks on Wed, says it has 'open mind' on demands

The government has called farmers for a meeting on Wednesday in Delhi to discuss three new laws liberalising India's agriculture markets, saying it had an "open mind" about their demands. The agriculture ministry invited more representatives of 40 unions for the meeting at 2pm in Vigyan Bhawan, new agencies reported. It said the government was "committed" to resolving the issues farmers had raised about the laws and minimum support price (MSP) for their produce.
 
Tens of thousands of farmers are camping out on highways near the capital New Delhi in protest at the laws implemented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government that they fear will dismantle regulated agricultural markets, threaten their livelihood and benefit large companies.
 
"The government is also committed to finding a logical solution on all relevant issues with a clear intention and an open mind," said Taking note of the unions'' offer to resume talks, said Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Aggarwal in a letter to the unions, according to PTI. READ ON...

During UPA govt, Manmohan Singh and Sharad Pawar wanted to bring farm laws: Narendra Singh Tomar

'Wall of lies' to fall soon; hopeful of early solution to impasses over farm laws: Narendra Singh Tomar

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday said a "wall of lies" has been spread in a "planned manner" among farmers against the new farm laws, but it will not last long and protesting peasants will soon realise the truth. The minister reiterated he remains hopeful to find an early solution to end the impasse. It's been over a month now that thousands of farmers, especially from Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh, are camping at Delhi borders seeking repeal of the three farm laws.
 
They have threatened to intensify their stir in the coming days if their demands are not fulfilled. So far, five rounds of formal talks held between the Centre and 40 protesting farmer unions remained inconclusive. After repeated requests from the Centre to resume the discussion to end the stalemate, the unions have given December 29 for talks. The government, in response, has written to the unions inviting them for talks on December30.
 
"Soon, some way out will emerge and we will reach towards the solution. Everyone knows that the wall of lies is never strong. Truth is truth. There is going to be a time when people will start accepting the truth," Tomar said addressing a virtual event organised by Confederation of NGOs of Rural India (CNRI).

Agitating farmers set up a new stage and temporary sitting arrangements on Delhi-Haryana border

Uproar by AAP and BJP councillors over misappropriation of funds and Centre's farm laws

Will continue to work to strengthen farmers, agri sector with full force and dedication: PM Modi

Farmers' protest LIVE: Centre calls farmers for meeting on Dec 30 in Delhi

The government on Monday invited 40 protesting farmer unions for the next round of talks on December 30 on all relevant issues to find a "logical solution" to the current impasse over the three new farm laws. The government's invite followed a proposal made by unions last week to hold the talks on December 29. In a letter to the unions, Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Aggarwal has invited them for holding talks at 2 pm on December 30 at Vigyan Bhavan in the national capital.
 
So far, five rounds of formal talks held between the Centre and 40 protesting farmer unions remained inconclusive. Taking note of the unions' offer to resume talks, Aggarwal said, "The government is also committed to finding a logical solution on all relevant issues with a clear intention and an open mind."
 
It's been over a month now that thousands of farmers, especially from Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh, are camping at Delhi borders seeking repeal of the three farm laws. They have threatened to intensify their stir in the coming days if their demands are not fulfilled.

Centre calls farmers for meeting on 30th Dec at 2 pm at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi

Central Government calls farmers for meeting on 30th December at 2 pm at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi.

False narratives about new farm laws hurting farmers' interests: Niti Aayog Vice Chairman

False narratives about the new farm laws are doing significant harm to the interest of farmers as well as the economy in general, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Monday and expressed his disappointment at some economists changing their stance on the new legislations. As farmers continue their protests demanding repealing of the three new laws, Kumar also emphasised that continued negotiations with protesting farmers is of course the way forward.
 
"Any argument that these measures (the Centre's new farm laws) will open the farmers for exploitation by large corporates is completely false because the government has assured Minimum Support Price (MSP) to all the farmers on a range of crops," he told PTI in an interview.
 
The Vice Chairman of Niti Aayog, the government think tank which also plays a key role in formulating economic policies, said that he was dismayed by the dishonesty of some Indian economists, including former chief economic adviser Kaushik Basu who used to support farm reforms, for switching sides and talking in different languages now.

We demand three draconian agriculture laws be withdrawn: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

Kerala Governor gives assent for one-day assembly session on Dec 31 on farm laws

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Monday gave his assent for convening the state assembly for a one-day special session on December 31 to discuss and pass a resolution against the three contentious central farm laws against which farmers are agitating in Delhi. The Governor has given the nod for the session, days after the CPI-M led LDF government sent a fresh proposal to convene the assembly after he had turned down an earlier recommendation.
 
Even for the December 31 session, Khan sought some clarifications and the government had provided them.
 
The session would be for a duration of one hour and commence at 9 am In an unprecedentedmove, the Governor had earlier declined nod for the special session on December 23 to discuss the contentious laws, saying Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had not addressed the question raised by him on the nature of emergency warranating the very brief session.

25 farmer unions handed over a letter to Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in support of agri laws

Madhya Pradesh Congress MLAs stage silent protest against Centre's farm laws

Madhya Pradesh Congress MLAs led by state unit chief Kamal Nath on Monday staged a silent protest against the Centre's new farm laws in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue in the Assembly premises. The protest began with Nath garlanding the statue of Gandhiji amid MLAs holding placards and toy tractors and shouting slogans denouncing the Centre.
 
The decision to stage a silent protest was taken since the three-day winter session of the Assembly, set to begin on Monday, was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, said state Congress spokesperson Narendra Saluja. "We will continue to extend support to the ongoing farm agitation against the Centre's new laws," he added.
 
The winter session got postponed after 61 Assembly staffers and seven MLAs tested positive for the virus. An earlier plan by the party to arrive at the Assembly complex in tractors was set to face hurdles from an order issued by the district collector banning the movement of several types of vehicles within a 5-kilometre radius.

Visuals of protesting farmers in Delhi's Burari

Punjab Pradesh Congress held a demonstration near Haryana CM's residence

Congress observes 136th Foundation Day, slams Centre over farmers' protest

Indian National Congress (INC), the oldest political party of the country observed its 136th Foundation Day on Monday. Senior Congress leader AK Antony hoisted Congress flag at the party headquarters to mark its 136th Foundation Day. All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi was also present.
 
Meanwhile, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has organised celebrations at Indira Bhavan at KPCC headquarters Thiruvananthapuram to mark the day. KPCC President Mullapally Ramachandran hoisted the tricolour.
 
All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Tariq Anwar attended the celebrations. While addressing party workers KPCC president Mullapally Ramachandran said this moment will help the party workers to understand the greatness of Congress. READ MORE...

Doubling of farm income unrealistic: How agriculture fared in Covid-19 era

Even as the pandemic-led crisis shrank India's overall economy, its agriculture sector, supported by a normal monsoon, robust kharif sowing and adequate water storage in reservoirs, remained a "bright spot", as per the Reserve Bank of India.
 
India's gross domestic product that had grown by 5.2% and 4.4% in the first two quarters of 2019-20, contracted by 23.9% and 7.5% in the first and second quarters, respectively, of 2020-21, per government data. However, agriculture appeared to have escaped the impact of the slump caused by the pandemic--it grew at 3.4% in both quarters, close to the 2019-20 rates. Read on...

Anna Hazare threatens to launch his "last protest" for farmers

Social activist Anna Hazare has threatened to go on a hunger strike if his demands on issues concerning farmers are not met by the Union government by the end of January next year, and said it would be his "last protest".
 
Speaking to reporters in his Ralegaon Siddhi village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra on Sunday, Hazare said had had been holding protests for cultivators since the last three years, but the government has done nothing to resolve the issues.
 
"The government is just giving empty promises due to which I do not have any trust left (in the government)...Let's see, what action the Centre takes on my demands. They have sought time for a month, so I have given them time till January-end. If my demands are not met, I will resume my huger strike protest. This would be my last protest," the 83-year-old said.
 
On December 14, Hazare wrote a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar warning of a hunger strike if his demands like the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee's recommendations and granting autonomy to the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), were not accepted.

Priyanka Gandhi slams Centre, demands repeal of new farm laws

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday hit out at the Centre and demanded that the Union government should listen to protesting farmers and take back the new farm laws.
 
"Saying that farmers' protest is a political conspiracy, it is totally wrong, It is a sin to use the kind of words they are using for farmers. Government is answerable to farmers. The government should listen to them and take back the laws," said the Congress leader.
 
Amid the prevailing deadlock between farmers and the Central government over the new farm laws, the agitation of farmers entered the 32nd day on Monday. While the protests at the Ghazipur border that started on November 28 entered the 30th day today.

Farmers' protest over Centre's new agri laws enters 32nd day amid cold wave

Amid the prevailing deadlock between farmers and the Central government over the new farm laws, the agitation of farmers entered the 32nd day today

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