Farmers' Protest Updates: Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates: In a letter to prime minister Narendra Modi, Hazare said he had written to the Centre five times on the issue of farmers but had not received any response.
File photo of social activist Anna Hazare. PTI
Farmers' Protest LATEST Updates: Activist Anna Hazare on Thursday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and reiterated his decision to launch "the last hunger strike" of his life on farmers' issues in Delhi by January end.
The letter comes even as farmer unions are agitating on Delhi borders against the Centre's new farm laws.
The Supreme Court-appointed panel on farm laws is likely to hold its first meeting on January 19 at Pusa campus in Delhi, said Anil Ghanwat, one of its members, and asserted the committee will have no "ego or prestige issue" if it has to go to farmers' protest sites to talk to them.
The panel members were scheduled to have a virtual interaction earlier in the day to discuss its future course of action, but it could not take place after ex-MP and farmer leader Bhupinder Singh Mann recused himself from the committee.
Protesting farmer leaders welcomed Bhartiya Kisan Union president Bhupinder Singh Mann's decision on Thursday to recuse himself from a Supreme Court-appointed committee, and reiterated that they do not want any panel and will not settle for anything less than the repeal of the three contentious laws.
They said the other three members of the committee should follow suit as the agitating unions had never demanded formation of any committee to resolve the impasse between farmers and the Centre over the new agri laws. Some leaders also invited Mann to join the agitation against the legislations.
Clearing the confusion over the fate of the ninth round of talks in the wake of the Supreme Court on 11 January appointing a four-member panel to resolve the impasse and a key member of the proposed committee subsequently recusing himself, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the talks between the government and the union representatives will take place as scheduled for 12 pm on 15 January.
Five bull tamers in Tamil Nadu's Madurai were briefly detained after they entered the arena at a Jallikattu event shout slogans against the Centre's three agricultural laws , said reports. The event was temporarily halted with the men waving black flags.
"They were disrupting the event, which is why they were detained. There were five men and they belonged to a local organisation. But we let them off soon after they were removed from the arena. No case was filed against them," The News Minute quotes Madurai city Police Commissioner Prem Anand Sinha as saying.
The Trinamool Congress claimed that the new agriculture laws will leave small and marginal farmers at the mercy of big corporates and demanded that the legislation should be immediately repealed.
"Farmers will now be forced to sell their produce to big corporates at prices dictated by the firms. In case of a crop failure, however, these companies are not bound to buy the produce from the agriculturists," said Barasat MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at the Centre over the contentious new farm laws, alleging that the government was "conspiring to destroy" the ryots and assured that his party will stand with them. Speaking to reporters in Tamil Nadu's Madurai, the Lok Sabha MP also accused the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre of trying to benefit "two or three of their friends".
Bhupinder Singh Mann on Thursday recuses self from SC-monitored panel to negotiate on farm reform laws. Mann, who was one of the four members in the Supreme Court-appointed panel, said that he was ready to 'sacrifice any position offered' so as to 'not compromise interests of farmers'.
The government is in favour of continuing talks with protesting farmer groups as it believes a solution can be found only through dialogue, Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala said on Wednesday.
Eight rounds of negotiations so far between the government and a representative-group of thousands of farmers protesting against three farm laws have failed to resolve the crisis.
"Talks must continue. It is only through dialogue, a way forward can be found," Rupala told PTI.
He was responding to a query whether the government talks with protesting farmers' leaders on 15 January will be held as scheduled in the wake of the Supreme Court setting up of a committee to resolve the crisis.
On Tuesday, Kailash Choudhary, who is also Minister of State for Agriculture, said the government was willing to go ahead with the meeting and it was for the farmer groups to decide what they want.
Farmers, who have been camping at the Delhi borders, are demanding a repeal of the farm laws and a legal guarantee to the minimum support price for crops.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday had stayed the implementation of controversial new farm laws till further orders and decided to set up a 4-member committee to resolve the impasse over them between the Centre and farmers' unions protesting at Delhi borders.