Farmers protest LIVE: Kerala decides to move SC against Centre's farm laws

Ours is a peaceful protest, says Farmer leader Nirbhay Singh Dhudike at Singhu border
Latest News LIVE updates: As the ongoing farmers' agitation at Burari, Singhu and Tikri borders entered day 12, the Delhi Traffic Police today issued an advisory for commuters as multiple borders between Delhi and neighbouring states remained closed for traffic. The Delhi Traffic Police today issued a traffic alert closing the National Highway (NH) 44 on both sides in the national capital region. Commuters have been asked to take alternate routes via Lampur, Safiabad, Saboli borders and avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK road and NH-44.

As their fifth round of talks with farmer ended in a deadlock, the government proposed another meeting on December 9 with the representatives of protesting farmers and requested them to send back the elderly, women and children to their homes from the protest sites. The agitating farmers had on Friday announced a 'Bharat bandh' on December 8 and threatened to intensify their agitation and block more roads leading to the national capital if the government did not accept their demands.

Stay tuned for the latest news of farmers' protest and bharat bandh

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Student, teacher bodies announce support to Bharat Bandh against farm laws

Various students' and teachers' groups Monday announced their support to the 'Bharat Bandh' call given by farmers protesting against the Centre's new agriculture-marketing laws.
 
The Left-backed All India Students' Association (AISA) and All India Students Federation (AISF) called upon students from across the country to join the Tuesday shutdown.
 
"For the past 10 days, millions of peasants are sleeping on different borders of Delhi in chilling cold and have taken up the battle against the policies that would put them in the bondage of contractors and big corporates. They are demanding the rollback of agricultural laws, scrapping of Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 and legislating the demand of MSP.
 
"Hence, it is necessary that we, the student community stand shoulder to shoulder with the farmers of our country," they said in a joint statement.
 
The signatories to the statement included member of the Students Federation of India (SFI), the Congress-affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI), JNU Students Union President Aishe Ghosh, students of Gujarat and Hyderabad Central University, among others.

Kerala govt to move Supreme Court against farm laws: minister

The Kerala government will not implement the contentious farm laws and will move the Supreme Court against them this week itself, Agriculture Minister V S Sunilkumar said here on Monday.
 
"We will not implement the farm laws. The state government is readyto face any action to be taken by the central government.
 
We will move the Supreme Court against these laws this week itself," he told reporters here.
 
He said the Centre's move amounted to usurping the authority of state governments, which has been ensured by the Constitution.
 
"The new laws, which take away the food security and independence of the country, will surrender it before the corporate giants, which will in turn destroy our public distribution system," Minister said.
 
Ten Central Unions and over 300 farmers and agricultural workers organisations have given a call for 'Bharat Bandh' on December 8 in protest against the farm laws.
 
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had last week urged the Centre to "listen" to the protesting farmers, who are on an agitation at Delhi border points for the last 11 days against the new laws, and to resolve the issue in an amicable manner.
 
Several rounds of talks between the Centre and farmers have failed to break the deadlock.
 
Vijayan, in a tweet, had described the farmers as the "lifeblood" of the country and said it was time to stand with them.

Haryana police issues traffic advisory for 'Bharat Bandh' call by farmers

In view of the call for 'Bharat Bandh' on Tuesday given by various farmers' organizations protesting the Central agri laws, Haryana Police has issued a travel advisory stating that people may face traffic blockages on various roads and highways of the state.
 
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh Virk said elaborate arrangements have been made by the civil and police administration in Haryana according to directions of the state government.
 
"The primary objective of these arrangements is to maintain public peace and order, prevent any kind of violence, maintain supply of essential items and to facilitate the functioning of traffic and public transport system across the state. The instructions in force due to COVID-19 pandemic situation have also been kept in mind," he added in a statement.
 
Virk said, "According to reports, it is expected that agitating groups may sit in dharna on various roads and highways within Haryana and block them for some time."
 
"Almost all the districts in the state except Nuh and Narnaul are likely to be impacted by big or small road jams. In addition, there may also be disruptions on various toll plazas in the state.

Farmers' protest

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh mocks Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal for calling himself 'sewadaar' of farmers during his visit to Singhu border, asks him if he even knows difference between wheat and paddy

Farm laws will benefit farmers, govt will handle agitations: Narendra Tomar

As thousands of farmers camped on Delhi's borders seeking repeal of three new farm laws, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday told a group of peasants backing these legislations that these measures will benefit the peasantry and the agriculture sector and that the government will handle such agitations.
 
The delegation of 20 "progressive farmers" from Haryana, led by Padma Shri awardee Kanwal Singh Chauhan, said the government may amend some provisions of the laws but should not repeal them.
 
The delegation members said they were individual farmers and representatives of farmer producer organisations (FPOs). The delegation included Bharatiya Kisan Union (Attar) National President Attar Singh Sandhu.
 
The meeting took place a day before a 'Bharat Bandh' to be observed by protesting farmers' organisations on Tuesday.
 
Addressing the delegation, Tomar said, "Aise chalega andolan vagera, iss se toh niptenge. App logo iss bills ko samarthan karne ke liya pauchhe hai, apko swagat aur hruday se danyawaad karta hoon (These kind of protests will continue, we will handle them. I welcome your support for the bills and sincerely thank you)."

Madhya Pradesh: On Bharat bandh eve, people stock essentials in Indore

People rushed to stock essential commodities in Indore city of Madhya Pradesh on the eve of the Bharat Bandh called by farmers' bodies against three agriculture laws passed by the Centre.
 
Though major organisations have not backed the shutdown call, people crowded shops to buy essential commodities.
 
On Tuesday, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh would lead a protest at Chavni Anaj Mandi here, said Congress district president Sadashiv Yadav.
 
Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh (RKMM) spokesman Ashish Bhairam said a rally will be taken out.
 
He said RKMM workers will request shop owners to down the shutters for the sake of farmers.
 
A police officer has warned of stern action if anybody tries to take law into his hands during bandh.

Centre will be responsible for inconvenience to people during Bharat Bandh: Cong

The Congress Monday said the Centre would be responsible for any inconvenience caused to people during the Bharat Bandh' called on December 8 by farmers protesting against the three recently enacted agri-marketing laws. The 'Opposition party also said it would not accept what it termed was "corporatisation of the agriculture sector", and urged the government to "shed its ego" and agree to the farmers' demands of repealing the contentious laws.


The party noted that food security and national security are intrinsically connected, as while farmers ensure food security for the nation, their sons protect the borders of the country. The Congress and several other Opposition parties have supported the 'Bharat Bandh' call given by the agitating farmers. Punjab Congress President Sunil Jakhar alleged the sentiments of farmers were hurt in bringing these laws as they were not consulted before the legislations were passed by Parliament.

Nobody should be forced to observe 'Bharat Bandh', emergency services allowed: Farmer leaders

Farmer leaders on Monday said that emergency services will be allowed during 'Bharat Bandh' on December 8, and appealed to their affiliates to not force anyone to observe the shut down against the three recently enacted agriculture-related laws. Balbir Singh Rajewal said that the Central government will have to accept the demands of farmers to scrap the new laws whose passage has sparked protests. The agitating farmers have already announced that they would occupy toll plazas between 11 am to 3 pm during the 'Bharat Bandh'.


Bhartiya Kisan Ekta Sangathan president Jagjit singh Dallewala appealed to farmers to maintain peace and not to enter into any scuffle to enforce the bandh. He said the 'bandh' will be effective across the country. "The Modi government will have to accept our demands. We want nothing less than withdrawal of the new farm laws," Rajewal said.


Referring to the Centre's offer to amend the contentious laws, another farmer leader, Darshan Pal, asked as to why the government was agreeing to make changes in the legislations now after initially claiming they will benefit the peasantry. "We want the government to reinstate the old farm laws even if the government thinks it is not good for farmers," Pal also said.

Govt with farmers, won't spare those who're trying to create chaos under cover of famrers: MP CM

Former Punjab CM Parkash Badal writes to Modi, urges to repeal 3 farm laws

Former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal writes to PM Modi saying, "I'm deeply worried about ongoing farmers’ crisis. It seems to me that issue could've been dealt with better if govt had paid greater attention to honest feedback on what farmers really thought of govt’s initiatives."
 

Letter further says,"Three Acts in question that have pushed the country into deep turmoil must be withdrawn without making farmers & their families endure any more suffering in this biting cold. Issue doesn't concern farmers alone but affects entire economic fabric of country."

Farmers' group in support of new laws meet Agri Minister; seek amendments, not repeal

As thousands of farmers continue to protest on various borders of the national capital seeking repeal of three new farm laws, a delegation of 20 from Haryana met Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to extend their support for the new legislations. Calling it a delegation of 'progressive farmers', a member of the team said the group led by Padmashree awardee Kamal Singh Chavan met Tomar in support of the farm laws enacted in September and demanded the government may amend some provisions but it should not repeal them.


The delegation members said they were individual farmers and representatives of farmer producer organisations (FPOs). The delegation included Bharatiya Kisan Union (Attar) National President Attar Singh Sandhu. The meeting took place a day before a "Bharat Bandh" to be observed by protesting farmers' organisations on Tuesday, while a meeting is already scheduled for the day after on December 9 between a representative group of agitating farmers and the government for their sixth round of talks.

Congress' boat is sinking, party trying to save itself by misleading farmers: MP CM

Today I'll expose the hypocrisy of Congress and other political parties including DMK, AAP, SP, Akali Dal, TMC, left parties on farm laws. Congress' boat is sinking and that is why they are trying to save themselves by misleading farmers, said Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Hyderabad

Shivraj CHouhan further said that Sharad Pawar wrote to him in 2011,"There's need to amend APMC Act on lines of model APMC act to encourage private sector investment in marketing, infrastructure & providing alternate competitive marketing channels in overall interest of farmers, consumers & agri trade"

Delhi mandis to stay closed tomorrow in support of farmers' call for Bharat Bandh

Oppn doing petty politics in name of farmers, says Haryana CM

Opposition parties are doing petty politics in the name of farmers, it's condemnable. Public & farmers should understand that there is no harm in implementing the laws that have been enacted for the progress of farmers. PM has assured that MSP will continue: Haryana CM ML Khattar

Kerala govt decides to move to Supreme Court against the Centre's Farm Laws

Kerala Government has decided to move to Supreme Court against the Centre's Farm Laws
 
"We will move SC this week itself. The anti-farmer laws will not be implemented in Kerala and an alternative law will be considered," said Kerala Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar

Farmers' protest: Noted Punjabi poet Surjit Patar to return Padma Shri award

Noted Punjabi poet Surjit Patar announced on Monday that he will return his Padma Shri award in support of farmers who are protesting against the Centre's farm laws. In a statement, Patar said he was pained at the insensitive attitude of the central government towards the demands of farmers who have been protesting peacefully.


The 75-year-old said he has decided to return his Padma Shri award with a heavy heart. Patar had received the Padma Shri in 2012. Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and other areas have stayed put at various Delhi border points, protesting against the new farm laws, which they fear will dismantle the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporate firms.

 

'Bharat Bandh': Gehlot asks police to maintain law and order in Rajasthan

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday direct police to maintain law and order during the 'Bharat Bandh' called by farmer unions protesting on Delhi's borders demanding the repeal of the Centre's new agri-marketing laws.


The law and order was discussed in detail with the police and administration officials. The officers were instructed to ensure proper security arrangements throughout the state, Gehlot tweeted. Senior police officials were present in the meeting.
 

 Ashok Gehlot on Monday said the NDA government at the Centre must shun its "arrogance" and repeal the newly enacted farm laws. In a series of tweets, he said the farmers were spending nights on roads in the chilly winter weather as the "government continued to ignore their demands". Gehlot said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should directly intervene in the matter and listen to the demands of the protesting farmers.


"As more and more farmers are joining the agitation from across the country and gathering at Delhi border at great inconvenience to the women and children, who are part of agitation too, the government must not delay paying heed to the welfare issues of the farmers," the chief minister tweeted. "The NDA government must shun its arrogance, insensitivity, adamant attitude and roll back the black farm laws. The Congress Party stands with our farmers in ensuring the mandi system, MSP must continue & farmers & farm lands are saved from big corporate," he said.

Farmers protest LIVE: We appeal to farmers to not force anyone to observe 'Bharat bandh, farmer leaders say

'Bharat Bandh' till 3 pm Tuesday, but emergency services will be allowed. Govt will have to accept our demands, we want nothing less than withdrawal of new farm laws, says farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal

AAP to hold peaceful demonstration in support of Bharat Bandh on Dec 8: Gopal Rai

The Aam Aadmi Party will hold a peaceful demonstration in the national capital on Tuesday in support of the 'Bharat Bandh' called by farmer unions protesting on Delhi's borders demanding the repeal of the Centre's new agri-marketing laws, said party leader and Delhi minister Gopal Rai. The party has extended its support to the 'Bharat Bandh' and Rai appealed to all citizens to extend their support to it.


"The AAP will hold a peaceful demonstration on December 8 in support of the Bharat Bandh called by the farmers at 11 am at the ITO crossing of Delhi," Rai was quoted as saying in a party statement. He said, "Today the farmers of our country are in distress. I want to appeal all the citizens of India to support their demands and extend their support to the Bharat Bandh called by the farmers tomorrow. I want to appeal all to join this bandh peacefully and stand in solidarity with the farmers of our country."


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that all AAP workers across the country will support the nationwide strike and appealed to all citizens to support the farmers.

Global leaders are supporting us, our protests is not limited to Punjab: Farmer leader

 Farmer leader Dr Darshan Pal protesting at Delhi-Haryana Singhu border said that the bandh will be observed the whole day tomorrow. Chakka jam till 3 PM. It will be a peaceful bandh. We are firm on not allowing any political leaders on our stage.

Rahul Gandhi demands revocation of farm laws, supports Bharat Bandh

Elaborate security arrangements in place for 'Bandh', says Delhi Police

The Delhi Police on Monday said elaborate security arrangements have been made in view of the 'Bharat Bandh' called on December 8 by farmers protesting against the Centre's new farm laws, and warned that strict action will be taken against those trying to disrupt movement of people or "forcefully" shut shops. The agitating farmers have called 'Bharat bandh' on December 8 and threatened to intensify their agitation and block more roads leading to the national capital if the government did not accept their demands.


Eish Singhal, Delhi Police (PRO), said adequate arrangements have been made by the Delhi Police to ensure normal movement of people on roads during 'Bharat Bandh' on Tuesday. "Delhi Police has also issued a traffic advisory for smooth movement of vehicles and commuters. Anybody who tries to disrupt normal movement, life or forcefully closes shops will be strongly dealt with, as per the law," he said.


Delhi Police has also appealed to everyone to not disrupt life of common citizens and residents of Delhi. Taking to Twitter, the Delhi Traffic Police on Monday said the Singhu, Auchandi, Piao Maniyari, Mangesh, Tikri and Jharoda borders are closed, it said.

Farmers protest LIVE: Makeshift camps continue to operate at Singhu border

Gujarat won't support Bharat Bandh called by farmers , says CM Vijay Rupani

Gujarat is not supporting Bharat Bandh call made by farmers. If anyone tries to close shops and other establishments forcefully then strict action will be taken against them: Chief Minister Vijay Rupani

BSNL employees come out in support of farmers' organisations

BSNL Employees Union on Monday said it fully supports the demand of farmers' organisations for repealing the farm laws. "BSNL Employees Union (BSNLEU) is fully supporting the demands of the farmers' organisations calling for the repealing of the Farm Acts, undemocratically passed in the last session of the Parliament," the union said in a statement.


"BSNL Employees Union fully shares the apprehensions of the farmers' organisations, that the recently passed Farm Acts will take away the minimum support price being offered by the government," it added. The union has called upon its circle and district branches throughout the country to organise lunch hour demonstrations on Tuesday, it said. "BSNLEU is also fully supporting the demand of the farmers' Organisations, calling for total withdrawal of the Electricity Bill-2020," BSNL Employees Union said.

Delhi Police will patrol the city to avoid untoward accident on Bharat Bandh

Some political parties stand on APMC Act show their double standards, says UP CM

Centre asks states to up security, ensure peace for Tuesday's Bharat Bandh

The Centre has asked all states and Union Territories to tighten security during Tuesday's 'Bharat Bandh' called by the farmers unions and supported by opposition parties, while asserting that peace and tranquillity must be maintained on that day, officials said. In a countrywide advisory, the Union Home Ministry also said the state governments and UT administrations must ensure that the Covid-19 guidelines issued with regard to health and social distancing are strictly followed.


The states and UTs were told that peace and tranquillity must be maintained during the 'Bharat Bandh' and precautionary measures taken so that no untoward incident takes place anywhere in the country, a home ministry official said on Monday. The 'Bharat Bandh' has been called by the farmers unions who have been protesting the three farm laws enacted in the Monsoon Session of Parliament. Major political parties, such as the Congress, NCP, DMK, SP, TRS and Left, on Sunday came out in strong support of the bandh.

Oppn parties except TMC extend support to Dec 8 'Bharat Bandh' call by farmers' unions

Opposition parties except for Trinamool Congress (TMC) have lent their support to ''Bharat Bandh'' on December 8 called by farmers' unions in protest against the new farm laws introduced by the central government. Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said that his party will hold demonstrations in all states on Tuesday.


Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president MK Stalin also extended support to the Bharat Bandh. Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D Raja said that the Central government, instead of being adamant, should repeal the new farm laws. "The government should not remain adamant and should agree to repeal anti-farmer, anti-national agrarian laws. After several rounds of talks, the government is not conceding. Farmers have given a call for Bharat Bandh. Our party has given support and extended solidarity with protesting farmers," he said.


Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) spokesperson Sudhindra Bhadoria said that his party is in support of farmers and their call for Bharat Bandh. 

Telangana Rashtra Samithi Member of Legislative Council (MLC) K Kavitha also announced her party's support for the Bharat bandh.  However, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Saugata Roy said that his party stands with protesting farmers but will not support Bharat Bandh in West Bengal. "TMC stands with agitating farmers but we will not support Bharat bandh in West Bengal. It (bandh) goes against our principles," he said.

Farmers protest LIVE: Delhi taxi, bus operators' associations to support 'Bharat Bandh'

The Delhi Taxi Tourist Transporters Association has come out in support of the 'Bharat Bandh' call on December 8 by agitating farmers opposing the new agricultural laws. Various taxi and bus operators associations from Delhi on Sunday marched to the Singhu border to express solidarity with the agitating farmers.


The Delhi Taxi Tourist Transporters Association President said, "The Central government has been ignoring the demands of the farmers and since then 11 days have passed, while the Government of India is only reshuffling the dates of holding talks. That is why we support the 'Bharat Bandh' call by farmers on December 8." "On December 8 we will not drive our taxis and buses and peacefully show our solidarity in making the farmers movement successful by making the 'Bharat Bandh' a success."

People should back 'Bharat Bandh' in support of farmers: Sena

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Monday said farmers' call for a 'Bharat Bandh' on Tuesday is apolitical and people of the country should willingly take part in it to express support to cultivators. Talking to reporters here, Raut also reiterated the Shiv Sena's support to the bandh. Apart from the Shiv Sena, the NCP and Congress -- two other constituents of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in Maharashtra -- have declared support to the bandh.


Various parties, including many regional outfits, have come out in support of the 'Bharat Bandh' on December 8 called by farmer unions which have been protesting on Delhi's borders for over 10 days, demanding the repeal of the Centre's new agri-marketing laws. "People should willingly take part in the bandh. This will show true support to the farmers. This is not a political bandh though several parties have decided to take part in it," Raut said. "This is not the bandh for raising demands of a political party, but to strengthen the voice of farmers of the country," the Rajya Sabha member said.

BEST buses to operate normally, will not be part of Bharat Bandh: BEST official

BEST buses will be operational tomorrow and will not be part of 'Bharat Bandh'. Protective iron grills and other protective gears will be used while plying the buses tomorrow: PRO, Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport

We extend our support to farmers, Karnataka Cong chief Shivakumar

Bharat Bandh will be from 11 am to 3 pm to protest against govt's farm policies: BKU

Our protest is peaceful & we'll continue that way. Tomorrow's Bharat Bandh is from 11 am to 3 pm. It is a symbolic protest to register our opposition. It is to show that we don't support some of the policies of the Govt of India. We don't want to cause problems for common man. Therefore, we will begin at 11 am, so that they could leave for office on time. Work hours in offices will end by 3 pm. Services such as ambulance, even weddings, can go on as usual. People can show their card & leave: Rakesh Tikait, Spokesperson, Bharatiya Kisan Union

All operations at APMC market in Navi Mumbai to remain in support of Bharat Bandh

All operations at APMC market in Vashi, Navi Mumbai including supplies of perishables will remain closed tomorrow in support of Bharat bandh, says Navi Mumbai APMC President Rajendra Shelke

Delhi Police stop sportspersons from marching toward Rashtrapati Bhavan in protest against farm laws

CAIT to not participate in tomorrow Bharat Bandh, says Secy-General Khandelwal

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has stated that India’s traders & transporters are not participating in Bharat bandh tomorrow. We have full faith in the ongoing dialogue process: CAIT Secretary-General Praveen Khandelwal

Oppn parties are opposing Modi govt for the sake of opposition, says Prasad

Sharad Pawar is also opposing the new farm laws. But when he was agriculture minister, he wrote to all CMs for 'private sector participation' in market infrastructure. Opposition parties are opposing the Narendra Modi govt for the sake of opposition, forgetting their own work in the past. In its 2019 poll manifesto, Congress promised to repeal APMC Act & make trade of agriculture produce including export free from all restrictions: Union Minister RS Prasad

Police detains Akhilesh Yadav after he sits on dharna against Centre's farm laws

Will take legal action if normalcy is disrupted, Delhi Police prepared for Bharat Bandh: PRO

Delhi Police has made proper arrangements ahead of tomorrow's Bharat Bandh. We are trying to ensure that the lives of the common people are not affected. If someone tries to shut down shops forcefully or block roads, legal action will be taken: Eish Singhal, Delhi Police PRO

Farmers protest LIVE: Farmers continue to protest at Tikri border as stir enters day 12

DMK will support farmers' protest, Tamil Nadu govt is against protesters, says Stalin

Protesting farmers call on people to back 'Bharat Bandh'

Thousands of farmers protesting against the Centre's new agri laws for the past 11 days here have called on people to join their 'Bharat Bandh' on Tuesday in large numbers, as police increased deployment at various Delhi border points.
 
Farmer leaders also welcomed the support of political parties to the nationwide strike against the laws and demanded that the legislations be repealed.
 
The Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Nationalist Congress Party, CPI(M) and DMK are among the political parties that are backing the day-long strike.

Modi's dilemma: Will farmer protests be his Thatcher or Anna Hazare moment?

Has the farmers’ blockade of Delhi brought Narendra Modi to his Thatcher or Anna moment? It is up to Mr Modi to answer that question as India waits. It will write the course of India’s political economy, even electoral politics in years to come.
 
For clarity, a Thatcher moment would mean when a big, audacious and risky push for reform, which threatens established structures and entrenched vested interests brings an avalanche of opposition. That is what Margaret Thatcher faced with her radical shift to the economic Right. She locked horns with it, won, and became the Iron Lady. If she had given in under pressure, she’d just be a forgettable footnote in world history. Read on...

Farmers protest LIVE updates: TMC stands with agitating farmers but we will not support Bharat bandh in West Bengal


Farmers are in trouble today, we should stand with them, says Arvind Kejriwal

Our party, MLAs & leaders have been serving farmers as 'sevadars' ever since. I haven't come here as CM but as a 'sevadar'. Farmers are in trouble today, we should stand with them. AAP supports December 8 Bharat Bandh, party workers will participate in it across the nation: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Farmers protest LIVE updates: Traffic congestion at the toll plaza on Delhi Noida Direct Flyway


Farmers protest LIVE updates: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal reaches Guru Teg Bahadur Memorial near Singhu border


Farmers protest LIVE updates: Sharad Pawar to meet President Kovind over farmers' protests

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar will meet President Ram Nath Kovind on December 9, over farmers' protests, said the NCP Maharashtra office.
 
Former Agriculture Minister Pawar on Sunday said that the Centre passed the agricultural laws in haste and warned that if the situation is not resolved soon more farmers from across the country will join the protest.
 
"Farmers from Punjab and Haryana are the main producers of wheat and paddy, and they are protesting. If the situation is not resolved soon, we will see farmers from across the country joining them," Pawar said on the ongoing farmers' protest.

Farmers protest LIVE updates: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal leaves from his residence


Farmers protest LIVE updates: Delhi taxi unions to join nationwide strike called by farmers on Dec 8

Commuters may face problems as some auto and taxi unions in the city have decided to join 'Bharat Bandh' on December 8 called by farmer unions protesting against the recent farm laws.
 
However, many other unions have decided to continue normal service despite their support to demand raised by the farmers.
 
Delhi Taxi Tourist Transporters Association President Sanjay Samrat said in a statement that several unions, including Delhi State Taxi Cooperative Society, and Kaumi Ekta Welfare Association will join the strike on December 8. Read on...

Farmers' agitation: Perils of a non-consultative government

Indications are that the Narendra Modi government is preparing to retrace its steps in the face of the farmers’ protest. Whether farmer leaders presently committed to a full repealing of the farm laws finally agree to key amendments in them remains to be seen.
 
The anger of the farmers is only now being given credence by the government after having ignored it for two months. Their refusal of official hospitality and insistence on bringing their own food and tea to the negotiations expresses a total lack of faith in the government. Read on...

For the Union govt the best farm policy would be to let states deal with it

If agriculture is a state subject, why do we need such a large ministry at the Centre for it? It occupies an entire building and its budget allocations are amongst the highest. In 2020 it was allocated Rs 1.42 trillion.
 
Parliament doesn’t bother very much with it because the real agricultural issues are so local that they mostly get addressed and sorted out in the state assemblies.
 
It is also not well realised that this ministry is neither a purely economics focused ministry like finance or commerce. Nor is it a purely politics focused one like the home ministry. What it does is mostly image building for the government of the day as being very caring about the farmers. Read on...

Farmers protest LIVE updates: Singhu border, NH 44 closed for traffic movement as farmers' protest enters day 12

As the ongoing farmers' agitation at Burari, Singhu and Tikri borders entered day 12, the Delhi Traffic Police today issued an advisory for commuters as multiple borders between Delhi and neighbouring states remained closed for traffic.
 
The Delhi Traffic Police today issued a traffic alert closing the National Highway (NH) 44 on both sides in the national capital region.
 
Commuters have been asked to take alternate routes via Lampur, Safiabad, Saboli borders and avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK road and NH-44.
 
"Singhu, Auchandi, Piao Maniyari, Mangesh borders are closed. NH-44 is closed on both sides. Take alternate routes via Lampur, Safiabad, Saboli borders. Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba and GTK road. Avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK road, NH-44," the Delhi Traffic Police tweeted.
 
The chilla border on Noida link road is closed for traffic from Noida to Delhi due to farmers' protest and people are advised to avoid Noida link road for coming to the national capital.
 
The Gazipur border, where the protest by farmers entered day 10, on NH-24 is closed for traffic movement from Ghaziabad to Delhi.
 
"Traffic Alert: The Gazipur border on NH-24 is closed for traffic from Ghaziabad to Delhi due to farmers' protests. People are advised to avoid NH-24 for coming to Delhi and use Apsara/ Bhopra/DND for coming to Delhi," said Delhi Traffic Police.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to visit Singhu Border (Haryana-Delhi border) today

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to visit Singhu Border (Haryana-Delhi border) today where farmers' protest, against Centre's #FarmLaws, entered 12th day. 
 
Other ministers of Delhi govt to also accompany the CM. They'll inspect arrangements made by the UT Govt for farmers at the spot.

Farmers' protest LIVE: Some auto, taxi unions in Delhi to join 'Bharat Bandh' on Dec 8

Commuters may face problems as some auto and taxi unions in the city have decided to join 'Bharat Bandh' on December 8 called by farmer unions protesting against the recent farm laws. However, many other unions have decided to continue normal service despite their support to demand raised by the farmers. Delhi Taxi Tourist Transporters Association President Sanjay Samrat said in a statement that several unions, including Delhi State Taxi Cooperative Society, and Kaumi Ekta Welfare Association will join the strike on December 8.


Representaives of various bus and taxi associations on Sunday visited the protesters at Singhu border to extend their support to them, Samrat said. Kamaljeet Gill, president of Sarvodaya Driver Association of Delhi, comprising mainly drivers working with cab aggregators, said it will also join the strike on Tuesday. However, Rajender Soni, general secretary of Delhi Auto Rickshaw Sangh, and Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union said that many "important" auto, taxi and last mile vehicle driver unions will not join the strike.


"We fully sympathise with the farmers struggle and support their demand. But the drivers of autos, taxis and Gramin Sewa and other last mile vehicles are already hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and can not afford to strike now," Soni said. Chandu Chaurasia, vice president of Capital Driver Welfare Association, said the demands of farmers need to be met by the government but it should not be achieved by causing inconvenience to ordinary people.

Karnataka farmers to join 'Bharat Bandh' against farm laws

Thousands of farmers across Karnataka would join 'Bharat bandh' on December 8 to protest against the 3 controversial farm laws and in support of their repeal, Karnataka Rajya Riatha Sangha president K. Chandreshekar said on Sunday. "All members of about 300 farmers' organisations will participate in the day-long bandh on Tuesday in cities and towns across the state except in Bengaluru, where it (shutdown) will be observed on Wednesday for logistic reasons," Chandrashekhar told reporters here.


"As all our members will observe Bharat bandh in towns and villages across the state on Tuesday, they will come to Bengaluru on Wednesday to hold a day-long shutdown in protest against the laws and demand their withdrawal," he said. Extending support to hundreds of farmers in northern states staging protests in Delhi or over 10 days against the laws, Chandrashekar said the ryots in the state were also opposed to the APMC bill and the land reforms bill the BJP government had moved in the state Assembly in September, as these were against farmers' welfare.


A dozen members of the Sangha led by Chandrashekar participated for 3 days last week in the farmers' agitation on the Delhi border with Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Scotland Yard makes arrest from protest in London against farm laws in India

Scotland Yard has reportedly made a number of arrests after it warned of enforcement action ahead of thousands of protesters from different parts of the UK gathering outside the Indian High Commission in central London on Sunday, as a show of support for farmers demonstrating against agricultural reforms in India. Several police officers in face masks descended upon Aldwych to police the We stand with farmers of Punjab demonstration, having warned that strict regulations remain in place to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and therefore demonstrations of larger than 30 risk arrests and fines.


The Metropolitan Police had said a robust policing plan will be in place throughout Sunday and officers will take action if they witness breaches of the regulations. The demonstration, largely made up of British Sikhs, involved placard waving with messages such as Justice for Farmers and sloganeering as well as several cars blocking roads. 

Haryana health department to hold medical camps for protesting farmers: Anil Vij

Haryana's health department will organise medical camps for farmers protesting at various border points of Delhi against the three Central agri laws, state Health Minister Anil Vij said on Sunday. Doctors will be present in these camps, he said, adding the Red Cross Society is providing services at the protest sites.


Health department officials from Sonipat said they have distributed medicines and masks among the farmers protesting at its inter-state borders with Delhi. Ambulances and mobile toilet facilities have been stationed at various points and sanitisation work is being carried out regularly, they said. Most of the protesters, which included many elderly and women, have been staying in tractor-trolleys which have been turned into temporary shelters.

SCBA Prez says farm laws 'unconstitutional', offers free services as lawyer to agitating farmers

Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Dushyant Dave has termed the Centre's farm laws "unconstitutional and illegal" and offered his services as a lawyer free of cost to the agitating farmers if they wish to challenge them in court. The farmers are protesting against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.


"The laws are unconstitutional and illegal," Dave told PTI and added that he has offered to represent farmers "pro bono" in courts of law if they wish to challenge these statutes. "It would be advisable in the larger interest of the farmers and the country that either the government issues a notification stopping the implementation of the Act till the talks take place or the Supreme Court takes up the matter and grants the stay then we can save the lives of the farmers and the agony that they are going through," the senior lawyer said.

Shiv Sena extends support to farmers' protest, tweets Sanjay Raut

SP decides to organise farmer rallies in all districts of UP on Monday

The Samajwadi Party will organise farmer rallies in all districts of Uttar Pradesh from December 7 with its chief Akhilesh Yadav slated to take part in such a rally in Kannauj district on a tractor, the party said in statement on Sunday. The decision came after opposition parties, including many regional outfits such as the Samajwadi Party, came out in strong support of the 'Bharat Bandh' on December 8 called by farmer unions which have been protesting on Delhi's borders for 11 days demanding the repeal of the Centre's new agri-marketing laws.


In the statement issued here, the Samajwadi Party said the youth and farmers from different districts will take out anti-government rallies to inform people about the "bad policies" of the BJP government of the state. Yadav will travel on a tractor from Thathia to Tirwa, covering almost 13 kilometres. "Under the BJP's rule, the farmers have faced injustice the most. The BJP is selling mandis and the farmers are not even getting the minimum support price of paddy. The prices of fertilisers and pesticides have gone up. The BJP government has shown an insensitive attitude towards farmers," the SP said in the statement.


"The three farm laws, which the Centre had passed puts the ownership of land of the farmers at risk. They are being forced to go for corporate farming," the statement said.

Farmers protest LIVE: Kamal Haasan's MNM extends support, protests at Singhu border

Opp parties support 'Bharat Bandh'; farmer unions say their stir has now spread across country

Opposition parties, including many regional outfits, on Sunday came out in strong support of the Bharat Bandh' on December 8 called by farmer unions which have been protesting on Delhi's borders for 11 days demanding the repeal of the Centre's new agri-marketing laws. Prominent leaders including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, DMK chief M K Stalin and PAGD chairman Farooq Abdullah also issued a joint statement backing the proposed day-long strike and pressed the Centre to meet the legitimate demands of the protesters.


Claiming that their agitation has spread across the nation, farmer leaders, who have maintained that their protest is apolitical, welcomed the support and urged all to come forward to make Tuesday's Bharat Bandh a success. After five rounds of talks between the Centre and the farmer unions failed to end the impasse, the two sides are again set to meet on December 9, a day after the countrywide strike. "This agitation is not only of Punjab farmers but is of the entire nation. We are going to strengthen our agitation and it has already spread across the nation," farmer leader Baldev Singh Yadav said at a press conference.


"Since the government was not able to deal with us properly, we gave a call for Bharat Bandh," he said and appealed to everyone to make sure that the bandh remains peaceful. "We won't let anyone turn it violent and would take strict action against them. We request everyone to be part of the bandh," he said. During the bandh, shops and businesses will remain shut. Ambulances and other emergency services will be exempted, farmer leaders said. The Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena, TRS, DMK, SP and the AAP joined the Trinamool Congress, RJD and the Left parties in supporting the strike call.

Farmers' protest LIVE: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury writes to PM Modi, requests to repeal the three farm laws

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury | File photo

Prominent opposition leaders issue joint statement backing farmers' stir and Dec 8 Bharat Bandh

Prominent opposition leaders including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, DMK chief M K Stalin and PAGD chairman Farooq Abdullah issued a joint statement on Sunday supporting the call for Bharat Bandh on December 8 by farmer groups, and demanded that the Centre meet the legitimate demands of the protesters.

The representatives of thousands of agitating farmers, who are sitting on various borders of the national capital since November 26 demanding repeal of the three agri laws, have said that the countrywide strike on Tuesday would be observed with full force.

"We the undersigned leaders of political parties extend our solidarity with the ongoing massive struggle by the Indian farmers organised by various kisan organisations from across the country and extend our support to their call for a Bharat Bandh on December 8 demanding the withdrawal of these retrograde Agri-laws and the Electricity Amendment Bill," the statement said.

Shiv Sena backs 'Bharat Bandh' called by farmers on Dec 8

The ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra on Sunday extended its support to the 'Bharat Bandh' called on December 8 by farmer unions which have been protesting on Delhi's borders for 11 days demanding repeal of the Centre's new agri-marketing laws.

"Shiv Sena president and CM Uddhav Thackeray is against the Central laws which are anti-farmer and anti-labour. We support the Bharat bandh," Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai told PTI on Sunday night.

Earlier in the day, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Prem Singh Chandumajra met CM Thackeray in Mumbai. He told reporters that Thackeray supported the Akali Dal's stand on the farmers' protest.

TMC govt opposing Centre's farm laws despite enacting similar legislation in Bengal: Vijayvargiya

BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya claimed on Sunday that the Mamata Banerjee dispensation, which is vehemently opposing the Centre's farm laws, has passed a similar legislation in Bengal to give farmers the right to sell produce independently.

Accusing Banerjee of "dichotomy", Vijayvargiya also urged Banerjee to clarify "if Rohingyas and Bangladeshi immigrants in Bengal were insiders, as she often refers to BJP leaders from other states as outsiders".

"The TMC government has already passed bills for the farmers, allowing them to sell their produce anywhere as per their choice, but now when Modiji has done the same, she is opposing it," he said, addressing a rally at Red Road here.

He slammed Banerjee, who is also the TMC supremo, for apparently calling the country's prime minister and the home minister "outsiders".

NCP supports 'Bharat bandh' called by farmers on December 8

The NCP on Sunday joined other opposition parties in extending support to the 'Bharat Bandh' called on December 8 by farmer unions which have been protesting on Delhi's borders for 11 days demanding repeal of the Centre's new agri-marketing laws.

Maharashtra NCP unit president Jayant Patil said in a statement that the party workers will join the Tuesday shutdown in protest against passing of the agri laws by Parliament without holding discussions.

"The ongoing talks between farmers and the Centre have failed due to which farmers' organisations have given a call for a Bharat bandh on December 8. The Maharashtra NCP will support the bandh," Patil stated.

Benefits, drawbacks of the 3 farm laws at the heart of farmers' protests

With no sign of any agreement between the government and the protesting farmers even after the fifth round of talks on Saturday, and the next meeting scheduled for December 9, farmers are sticking to their first and major point - that the three "anti-farmer" laws passed in September be repealed. However, the government says these laws are in the interest of farmers to make them richer. Read on...

Congress backs farmers' 'Bharat Bandh' call, will hold demonstrations across country on Dec 8

The Congress on Sunday expressed its "whole-hearted" support to the 'Bharat Bandh' called on December 8 by farmer unions against the new agri-marketing laws and announced that it will hold protests that day at all district and state headquarters in solidarity with the demands of the farmers.

The representatives of thousands of agitating farmers, who are sitting on various borders of the national capital since November 26, have said their call for a 'Bharat Bandh' on December 8 would be observed with full force.

Addressing the media at the AICC headquarters here, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, "I would also like to announce that the Congress party extends its whole-hearted support to the Bharat Bandh on December 8."

BJP hopeful of early resolution of farm agitation: Shahnawaz Hussain

Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Shahnawaz Hussain Sunday expressed hope of an early resolution to the ongoing farm agitation against the recently introduced agricultural laws in the country and said his party has full sympathy with the agitating peasantry.

He, however, claimed the farmers are being misled by some vested interests.

The farmers have been protesting at different borders of the national capital against the three recently enacted agricultural laws that the government has been saying will give farmers more freedom and avenues to sell their produce and raise their income.

Sharad Pawar to meet President on Dec 9 over farmers' protest

NCP chief Sharad Pawar is scheduled to meet President Ram Nath Kovind on December 9 over the ongoing farmers' protest against agrarian laws, the party said here on Sunday.

NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said the former Union agriculture minister will apprise Kovind of the situation in the country in the backdrop of the protest.

The representatives of thousands of agitating farmers, who are sitting on various borders of the national capital since November 26, have said their call for a 'Bharat Bandh' on December 8 would be observed with full force.

Farmers should agree on mid-way solution: JD(U)

Janata Dal (United) spokesperson Rajeev Ranjan Prasad on Sunday suggested that the protesting farmers should agree on a mid-way solution to support the country's economy.
 
"Agriculture is an important field that can help to solve the economic problems of the country. Both the parties should agree on a middle path," Ranjan said.
 
He added the Centre is very serious about the farmers' protest. "The government has cleared its stand that if any amendment is needed in the newly enacted laws (against which the farmers are protesting), it will come up with a new draft. The Centre will also talk to the states if needed," he said.

Bharat Bandh: Farmers, trade unions in 12 states extend support

Farmers and trade unions from more than 12 states, including whole northern India, have so far extended their support for the 'Bharat Bandh' call of farmer organisations on December 8 to raise their voice against the Centre's three contentious farm laws enacted in September during the Monsoon Session of Parliament.

Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Tamil Nadu are among the 12 states and a joint platform of 10 central trade unions have so far extended their support to the call which was made public after the fifth round of the government-farmer talks remained inconclusive with both sides adamant on their points.

As the ongoing farmers protest entered the 11th day on Sunday, over 40 farmer representatives engaged in a meeting since morning at Singhu Border -- one of the protest spots on the Delhi-Chandigarh route -- to chalk out a plan for the 'Bharat Bandh' and discuss further strategy of the agitation.

Congress supports farmers' 'Bharat Bandh' call: Rajasthan CM

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday said that the Congress supports the 'Bharat Bandh' call given by farmers on December 8 against the new agri laws.

"Congress party supports 'Bharat Bandh' in favour of farmers on 8th December," Gehlot said in a tweet.

He said that former party chief Rahul Gandhi has been an ardent supporter of farmers and every Congress worker stands with him in taking this cause of farmers to every corner of the nation.

Ludhiana village prepares sweets, namkeen for protesting farmers at Delhi borders

In a small village of Punjab's Ludhiana, local villagers are busy filling up packets with sweets and snacks prepared from pure desi ghee to be delivered to agitating farmers sitting on the borders of Delhi.

All over Baddowal village, men, women and children in small groups are seen participating in rolling up the 'pinnis' and packing them into cardboard boxes which will be transported to the borders for the farmers.

"We plan to send a total of 300 kilograms of Khoya pinnis and namkeen matris prepared in pure desi ghee by families in Baddowal village," Lakhbir Singh Badwal of the Nirankari Sangh said.

"I request the government to resolve the farmers' issue at hand at the earliest. We are planning to send approximately three quintals of sweets and namkeens to farmers at border. There are elderly people and children among others who are in the protest and they should not feel hungry in this weather," he said.

Take farmers' protest seriously, end deadlock: Pawar to Centre

NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday asked the Centre to take serious cognisance of the ongoing farmers' protest and said if the deadlock continues, the agitation will not be limited to Delhi and people from across the country will stand by the protesting cultivators.

Talking to reporters here, Pawar said when the farmers are protesting on streets, it should be taken seriously.

"But, unfortunately, that is not happening," the former Union agriculture minister said.

"I hope wisdom dawns on the government and it takes cognisance to resolve the issue. If this stalemate continues, the protest will not be limited to Delhi, but people from nook and corner of the country will stand by the protestingfarmers," he said.

Job cuts, salary adjustments not as widespread as apprehended: CII study

Despite a severe impact on revenue and cash inflows, display of compassion and community outreach produced a spontaneous level of commitment and loyalty from employees and that the job cuts and salary adjustments were not as widespread as originally apprehended, an industry body study said on Sunday.

The CII study entitiled 'Reimagining the Organization for the New Normal: Role of HR' conducted in partnership with Talentonic has revealed interesting facts about employer behaviour during the pandemic.

As against what was widely perceived, reducing the headcount has been given 7th priority out of 13 when it came to actions taken to deal with the crises while reducing or postponing salary or other payouts was given the 9th priority.

4 of 5 cyclones this year were in severe cyclonic storms category and above

Four of the five cyclones that originated either in the Bay of Bengal or in the Arabian Sea this year were in the category of severe cyclonic storm' or above including Amphan which had escalated into a super cyclone.

Formation of cyclones is not uncommon in the Arabian Sea during the pre-monsoon period and in the Bay of Bengal during the post-monsoon months of October to December.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said since 1990 four cyclones have formed every year in the seas along the eastern and western coasts (Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea) of the country.

It is normal to have five cyclones a year, he said.

Karnataka farmers' body to take part in Bharat bandh on Dec 8

The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha on Sunday announced its support to the farmers' call for Bharat bandh on December 8, protesting the new farm laws brought by the Centre.

The outfit president Kodihalli Chandrashekhar said they would support the nationwide strike.

Farmers from the state would lay siege to the Vidhana Soudha here on December 9, when the assembly session would be underway.

DMK-led bloc extends support to Dec 8 Bharat bandh called for by farmers

The DMK-led opposition bloc in Tamil Nadu on Sunday extended support to the December 8 'Bharat bandh' called for by farmers agitating against the Centre's farm laws, saying their demand for the repealing of the three legilsations was "totally justified."

The M K Stalin-led grouping appealed to farmers' unions, traders' bodies, government employees' associations, labour unions and others in the state to extend "grand support" to the bandh and make it a success on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, actor Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) also extended support to the protest by farmers, who have been agitating for nearly 10 days outside Delhi border against the Centre's contentious laws.

Boxer Vijender Singh threatens to return 'Khel Ratna' if farm laws not repealed

Boxer Vijender Singh on Sunday threatened to return the 'Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna' award, the country's highest sporting honour, if the Centre does not withdraw the new farm laws.

Addressing the protesting farmers' near Singhu border, Vijender Singh said if the government does not take back the "black laws", he would request them to take back the 'Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna' award conferred on him earlier.

The 35-year-old trailblazing boxer who hails from Haryana joins the list of several former players, including Padma Shri and Arjuna awardees who have said they would return their awards in support of the farmers' agitation against the Centre's three farm laws.

AAP extends support to Dec 8 nationwide strike called by farmers' groups

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has extended its support to the Bharat Bandh' called by farmers' organisations on December 8 against the new agri laws, Delhi Chief Minister and the party's national convenor, Arvind Kejriwal, said on Sunday.

Kejriwal said that all AAP workers across the country will support the nationwide strike and appealed to all citizens to support the farmers.

"The Aam Aadmi Party fully supports the Bharat Bandh' call made by farmers on December 8. AAP workers across the country will support it peacefully. There is an appeal to all countrymen that everyone should support the farmers and participate in it," Kejriwal tweeted.

With revenue constrained, government may look at PSUs for higher dividends

The Union government may look towards its cash-rich public sector undertakings and those falling behind on their capex plans for current fiscal to declare higher dividends this year to reward their shareholders in this difficult period of Covid-19 pandemic.

Officials sources said that the PSUs with stock prices higher than their book values and those with sufficient cash may be asked to shell out higher dividends in FY21. A call will be taken after the third quarter results of companies are declared in late January or early February next year.

Also, PSUs, particularly in the oil sector, which are set to make big inventory gains due to firming up of crude prices, may also be looked at for higher interim dividends or special dividends and a few may even be considered for share buyback, depending on market conditions. Read on...

Farm laws will not be repealed, amendments can be made, says MoS Agriculture

Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Choudhary on Sunday reiterated that the three laws passed by the government are in favour of the farmers, and added that laws will not be repealed, but if necessary, the government will make some amendments to the Acts to acknowledge agitating farmer's demands.

"These laws passed by the government will give freedom to farmers. We always said farmers should have the right to sell their crop wherever they want. Even Swaminathan Commission's report recommends' that. I don't think the laws should be repealed. If necessary, some amendments to the Acts will be made to acknowledge agitating farmer's demands.," said Choudhary.

He reassured the farmers that, as the government has said previously, the minimum support price (MSP) for crops will continue, and the Centre is ready to give it in writing as well.

Pakistan opens fire, shells villages along LoC in J&K's Poonch, Kathua

Pakistani troops opened fire and shelled mortars at forward posts and villages along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch and Kathua districts, officials said on Sunday. Read more...

Cong backs farmers' 'Bharat Bandh' call, will hold demonstrations on Dec 8

The Congress on Sunday expressed its "whole-hearted" support to the 'Bharat Bandh' called on December 8 by farmer unions against the new agri-marketing laws and announced that it will hold protests that day at all district and state headquarters in solidarity with the demands of the farmers.Read more...

Petrol prices on upswing, set to breach all-time high across India

Auto fuel prices are on the upswing in the country with the pump price of petrol set to breach all-time high levels next week.
 
The oil marketing companies (OMCs) on Sunday increased the retail price of petrol by 28 paise per to Rs 83.41 a litre in Delhi. Similarly, diesel price also increased by 29 paise a litre to Rs 73.61 a litre. Read more...

Farmers' protest: Delhi Traffic Police suggests alternative routes to enter, exit city

With farmers protesting against the new farm laws staying put at the national capital's gateways, the Delhi Traffic Police on Sunday advised people to take alternative routes for entering and exiting the city.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and other parts of the country have been camping at Delhi's borders for the past 10 days to demand a repeal of the agriculture reform laws.

The Delhi Traffic Police took to Twitter to inform commuters about alternative routes open for travelling to the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. 

 

Elderly farmers at Delhi's Gazipur border say will continue protest till issues resolved

Elderly farmers from Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh who are participating in the ongoing protests at Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border near Gazipur against the three agriculture sector laws said on Sunday that they were neither afraid of Covid-19, nor death and will not end the agitation till their issues are resolved. Kalu Ram an 83-year-old farmer from Baghpat district of Uttar Pradesh said he's protesting to protect the rights of his children, and all farmers are united in their fight against the three laws passed by the government.
 
"How can I sit at home and leave my children alone who are protesting here. We have no groups in this fight, our issues are one and we are all one. If we die here, it is okay. May God give wisdom to the government to take these laws back. If our demands are not addressed, we will sit in Ramlila Maidan with our tractors and our animals," said Kalu Ram.
 
Dharmpal, 65, who also arrived from Baghpat district at the Gazipur border on the National Highway 24, said he is not afraid of contracting Covid-19.
 
"We are people connected to the soil. We cannot get the coronavirus infection. People who sit in AC chambers should worry about that. Anyway, what can we do when the government is not listening to our demands," Dharampal said.

Terrorists attacked a joint party of Police and CRPF in Srinagar today

PM Modi to virtually inaugurate construction of Agra metro project on Monday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate via videoconferencing the construction of the Agra metro project at 11:30 AM on Monday, according to an official statement. Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other dignitaries will also attend the event that will be held at 15 Battalion PAC parade ground in Agra, the statement said.
 
The Agra metro project comprises two corridors with a total length of 29.4 km and will connect major tourist attractions like Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Sikandra with railway stations and bus stands.
 
The project will benefit Agra's population of 26 lakh and also cater to more than 60 lakh tourists who visit the historic city every year. It will provide an environment-friendly mass rapid transit system to Agra, the statement said. The estimated cost of the construction of the project is Rs 8,379.62 crore and it will be completed in five years, it said.

Bank unions lend support to farmers' agitation against agri laws

A number of bank unions have expressed their solidarity with farmers protesting against recently passed agri laws and requested the government to resolve the issue at the earliest. The All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) in a statement said the government should come forward and resolve their demands in the interest of the nation and farmers.
 
Officer unions All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA) and Indian National Bank Officers' Congress (INBOC) have also requested the government to initiate meaningful dialogue to resolve the impasse by referring the bills to a select committee by a special Presidential Order.

The farming community has expressed apprehension that three new laws -- Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 -- would pave the way for dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporations.
 


FPIs pump in Rs 17,818 crore in just four trading sessions of December

Overseas investors remained net buyers to the tune of Rs 17,818 crore in Indian markets in first four trading sessions of December amidst better than expected economic recovery around the world and positive sentiment on the back of various vaccine results. As per depositories data, foreign portfolio investors (FPI) pumped in a net sum of Rs 16,520 crore into equities and Rs 1,298 crore in the debt segment during December 1-4.
 
This translated into a total net investment of Rs 17,818 crore during the period under review. In November, the total net investment of FPIs stood at Rs 62,951 crore.
 
"The economies world over have continued to improve at a pace that is much better than what was expected and hence, Indian markets may continue to see this kind of an inflow," Harsh Jain, co-founder and COO at Groww. said. The announcements of various vaccine results is giving confidence to investors about the possible future of the markets, Jain added.

Petrol price up 28 paise, diesel 29 paise a litre; rates touch 2-year high

Petrol price on Sunday was hiked by 28 paise per litre and diesel by 29 paise, the fifth straight day of increase in rates due to firming international oil prices. Petrol price in Delhi rose to Rs 83.41 per litre from Rs 83.13. Diesel rates went up from Rs 73.32 to Rs 73.61 per litre, according to a price notification of oil marketing companies.

Rates crossed Rs 90-mark for petrol and Rs 80 in case of diesel in Mumbai. This is the fifth straight day of price hike and the 14th increase in rates since November 20 when oil companies resumed daily price revision after nearly two-month hiatus.

Rates are now at the highest level since September 2018. In 17 days, the petrol price has gone up by Rs 2.35 per litre and diesel rate has risen by Rs 3.15. Brent crude oil has risen 34 per cent from USD 36.9 per barrel on October 30 to USD 49.5 on December 4 - the last trading day - on hopes that COVID-19 vaccines would lead to demand recovery.

Sikh-Americans hold protest rallies in US cities against farm laws in India

Hundreds of Sikh-Americans have held peaceful protest rallies in several cities across the US in support of the Indian farmers who have been protesting against the new agricultural reforms in India. A large car caravan of protesters from various parts of California blocked the traffic on the Bay Bridge on Saturday as they moved towards the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, while several hundreds gathered in downtown Indianapolis.
 
The protesters at both the places demanded the new laws be repealed, saying they would push Indian farmers towards poverty and give the corporate sectors a monopoly.
 
"Farmers are the soul of any nation. We must protect our soul. People around the world, including many cities in the US and Canada, have come together to dispose of the bills that will open India's agricultural market to the private sector; allowing major corporations to take over independent farming communities and dilute crops' market value," said Indiana-based Gurinder Singh Khalsa.
 
Khalsa was one of the organisers of the rally in downtown Indianapolis attended by nearly 500 Sikh Americans from various parts of Indiana. Thousands of farmers are protesting on various borders of Delhi since November 26, seeking repeal of three farm laws enacted in September.

LIVE: Farmer unions hold a meeting near Haryana-Delhi border

Economy to reach pre-Covid-levels by end of FY2022: Niti Aayog

India's economic growth is likely to reach pre-COVID-19 levels by the end of the 2021-22fiscal as the GDP contraction in this financial year is expected to be less than 8 per cent, Niti Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Sunday. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also revised its forecast of economic growth for the current fiscal year (2020-21) to (-)7.5 per cent as against its earlier forecast of (-) 9.5 per cent.
 
"We should reach pre-COVID-19 levels at the end of fiscal year 2021-22 for sure," Kumar told PTI when asked about growth projection for the next financial year. He added that the GDP contraction this fiscal is expected at less than 8 per cent.
 
India's economy recovered faster than expected in the September quarter as a pick-up in manufacturing helped GDP clock a lower contraction of 7.5 per cent and held out hopes for further improvement on better consumer demand. Replying to a question on asset monetisation, he said this is ongoing work and it has received attention at the highest level.
 
"We will continue to pursue this and make sure that the targets of asset monetisation are reached," Kumar stressed.
 
The government is looking to raise Rs 2.10 lakh crore through disinvestment in the current fiscal. This includes Rs 1.20 lakh crore from Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) stake sale and Rs 90,000 crore from sale of government stake in financial institutions.

Delhi's air quality very poor, likely to improve over next two days

Delhi's air quality was recorded in the upper end of the very poor category on Sunday, and is likely to improve over the next two days due to a predicted increase in the wind speed.
 
The air quality had turned severe on Saturday with slow wind speed allowing accumulation of "locally-generated" pollutants, according to officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
 
The city's air quality index (AQI) was 394 at 9 am. The 24-hour average was 404 on Saturday, which falls in the severe category. It was 382 on Friday, 341 on Thursday, 373 on Wednesday, 367 on Tuesday, 318 on Monday and 268 on Sunday. Air pollution in the neighbouring cities of Ghaziabad (AQI 430), Greater Noida (404) and Noida (404) remained in the severe zone. READ ON...

 

Discoms' outstanding dues to power gencos rise over 29% to Rs 1.38 trillion in Oct

Power producers' total dues owed by distribution firms rose over 29 per cent year-on-year to Rs 1,38,187 crore in October 2020, reflecting stress in the sector. Distribution companies (discoms) owed a total of Rs 1,06,734 crore to power generation firms in October 2019, according to portal PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators).
 
The portal was launched in May 2018 to bring in transparency in power purchase transactions between the generators and discoms. In October 2020, the total overdue amount, which was not cleared even after 45 days of grace period offered by generators, stood at Rs 1,25,743 crore as against Rs 93,559 crore in the year-ago period.
 
According to the latest data on the portal, total outstanding dues in October increased on a month-on-month basis as well. In September 2020, total outstanding dues of discoms stood at Rs 1,36,566 crore. The overdue amount in October 2020 has increased from Rs 1,24,675 crore in September 2020.

Case registered against 150 sugarcane farmers for protest in Aurangabad

Police have registered a case against nearly 150 farmers for gathering outside the office of sugar department's regional assistant director in Maharashtra's Aurangabad city without permission to press for their demands. Large gatherings are not allowed in the district in the wake of the COVID-19 situation.
 
The incident took place on Friday when sugarcane farmers gathered in front of the assistant director's office, demanding that the cultivators' money deposited in a sugar cooperative factory's bank accounts be released. Majority of the protesting farmers were from Gangapur and Lasur areas of the district.
 
A case was registered against them on Friday at Kranti Chowk police station under IPC sections for unlawful assembly, wrongful restraint, rioting, disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant and negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life.

LIVE: Farmer protests: UPSRTC suspends bus service to Delhi

The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) has decided to temporarily suspend all its operations to the national capital with immediate effect. The suspension of services and congestion of other alternate routes is bound to cause inconvenience for passengers from regions close to the national capital. According to the official spokesman, all pre-bookings of AC buses to the national capital have also been cancelled, and UPSRTC will refund the fare.
 
The UPSRTC officials said the bus services will resume once the protest ends. The state transport corporation had been operating at least 60 buses daily to and fro from Agra to Delhi. It had to suspend its services following feedback from the bus drivers.
 
According to UPSRTC regional manager Manoj Kumar, there is risk involved in operating buses to Delhi now. "We do not want the passengers to be affected as the main routes along with the alternate ones to Delhi have been blocked," he said. The suspension of the bus services have greatly inconvenienced passengers during the ongoing wedding season.

LIVE: Farmers protest at Burari's Nirankari Samagam Ground in Delhi against farm laws

India hopes for resuming Iran oil imports as Joe Biden presidency nears

Asia’s biggest oil importers are testing the waters in the hope that the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will set the stage for a resumption in crude oil exports from Iran and Venezuela.
 
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said this week India would like to buy from more producers when asked if he would like to see an easing of White House sanctions on Iran and Venezuela. There has also been an increase in inquiries from Chinese buyers about purchasing a sludgy type of oil known as bitumen-mix, which is thought to be Venezuelan crude passed off as another grade, according to traders.
 
Under President Donald Trump the U.S. pursued an aggressive foreign policy, reinstating sanctions on the Islamic Republic in 2018 and then taking steps to limit Venezuelan crude exports the following year. Shipments from both nations have since slowed to just a trickle, forcing Asian refiners to look for alternatives to the medium-heavy sour crudes from the two countries. READ ON...

20 people injured in a cylinder blast in Lalbaug area of Mumbai

Coronavirus LIVE: India reports 36,011 new Covid-19 cases; tally 9,644,529

Cyclone Burevi: Parts of Thoothukudi witness waterlogging following rains

Parts of Thoothukudi witnessed waterlogging following rainfall in the city in the wake of Cyclone Burevi, on Saturday.
 
"We have engaged 141 motor pumps and 12 sullage tankers through Thoothukudi Corporation to pump out the water," said Senthil Raj, District Collector.
 
Earlier yesterday, waterlogging was also witnessed at various places here, including the main entrance of the Thoothukudi Government Hospital. The area outside the hospital was covered in rainwater, and patients and other visitors waded through rainwater pools up to their ankles. Locals said that this is a recurring problem and the authorities should drain the water in the area as soon as possible.
 
On Saturday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that cyclone Burevi continued to hover over the Gulf of Mannar near the Ramanathan district coast, remaining 'practically stationary' for the last 30 hours.

Committed to fulfilling Ambedkar's dreams for our nation: PM Modi on his death anniversary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid tributes to B R Ambedkar on his death anniversary, saying his thoughts and ideals continue to give strength to millions.
 
Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Indian Constitution and a Dalit icon, passed away in 1956.
 
"Remembering the great Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on Mahaparinirvan Diwas. His thoughts and ideals continue to give strength to millions. We are committed to fulfilling the dreams he had for our nation," Modi tweeted.

Farmers continue to hold a sit-in protest at Haryana-Delhi border against Centre's agri laws

Remembering Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar on Mahaparinirvan Diwas: PM Narendra Modi

Farmers continue to camp at Delhi-Haryana border in Tikri to protest agri laws

Odisha farmers block roads to protest against centralised paddy procurement system

Hundreds of farmers stacked their paddy produce on major roads in various parts of Western Odisha on Saturday, demanding the withdrawal of the centralised token system for procurement of the crop in the state-run market yards. Farmers, under the banner of the Paschim Odisha Krushak Sangathan Samanway Samiti (POKSSS), demanded the procurement of paddy from across the region on the basis of the harvest report, submitted by the agriculture department of the districts concerned.
 
POKSSS convenor Lingaraj said the paddy procurement system should be decentralised. The government has decided to procure 19 quintals of paddy per acre of irrigated land and 13 quintals of rain-fed fields. But the decision has been taken in Bhubaneswar.
 
"This should be taken at the district level. In a decentralised procurement system, the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) play a pivotal role and generate tokens for selling of the crop in the market yard. But the tokens are being generated from Bhubaneswar," he alleged.

Delhi to experience 'Shallow Fog': IMD forecast

Farmers stay put at Delhi's borders as fifth round of talks ends in deadlock

After their fifth round of talks with the government ended in a deadlock, thousands of farmers protesting the Centre's new farm laws stayed put on the borders of Delhi with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, blocking key routes leading to the national capital thatled to long traffic jams.
 
The government proposed another meeting on December 9 with the representatives of protesting farmers and requested them to send back the elderly, women and children to their homes from the protest sites. The agitating farmers had on Friday announced a 'Bharat bandh' on December 8 and threatened to intensify their agitation and block more roads leading to the national capital if the government did not accept their demands.
 
As farmers remained unyielding on their demand for scrapping the new farm laws, the police kept the Delhi-Haryana border at Singhu, Tikri, Jharoda Lampur, Auchandi, Safiabad, Piao Maniyari, and Saboli closed for traffic movement. With no breakthrough in sight after several rounds of negotiations and farmers refusing to budge, the protest sites are now resembling a 'pind' (village in Punjabi).


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