Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates: Dr Ajit Nawale, secretary of the Maharashtra unit of All India Kisan Sabha, will lead the farmers' march from Nasik to Delhi
Protesting farmers at the Delhi-Haryana border. AP
Farmers' Protest LATEST Updates: A day after the Maharashtra-based All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee extended support to the farmers protesting at Delhi's borders, reports said that the farmers from the state will travel to Delhi to join the protests. They will first gather at Nasik on 20 December, Newsclick reported.
"From there, they will begin marching on 21 December led by Dr Ajit Nawale, secretary of the Maharashtra unit of All India Kisan Sabha. The farmers will be joined by AIKS national president Ashok Dhawale at the borders of the capital, where the protesting farmers have been camping," the report said.
"The farmers’ march from Nasik to Mumbai had brought down the arrogance of then Bharatiya Janata Party government in Maharashtra. Now, its time for the Modi government. No other government in the history of India has fired tear gases on farmers and drenched them in the middle of winter. But these tricks have failed and farmers are still on the outskirts of Delhi," the report quoted Dhawale as saying.
The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party hit out at the BJP on Saturday over the farmers' protest. SP leader and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav called the laws a clamp for the farmers.
Former Union minister and senior BJP leader Birender Singh has extended his support to the ongoing farmers' agitation against the three agriculture-marketing laws passed by the Centre.
Speaking at an Assocham convention, Modi highlighted reforms spanning from the manufacturing sector to labour to say India has during the last six years emerged as the world's preferred destination for investment.
Braving the harsh cold of Delhi, thousands of farmers protesting against the three recent agri laws remained steadfast in their demands of repealing the legislations as their agitation entered its fourth week.
The AIKS, that is spearheading the 'Dilli Chalo' agitation against the three farm laws, asserted that no farmer organisation approached the court in the first place and asked for its intervention in the matter.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday addressed farmers in Madhya Pradesh via video conference in a bid to generate positive opinion towards the new agricultural laws, which has seen farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh protesting along Delhi's borders since 26 November.
In his address, the prime minister highlighted the benefits of the new reforms and the pro-farmer actions taken by his government while also accusing the Opposition parties of misleading the famers over the issue of Minimum Support Price (MSP) and Ariculture Produce Market Committes (APMCs).
Hundreds of farmers are camping at several Delhi border points to press for the repeal of the Centre's new farm laws.
Here are some main points of the prime minister's speech:
Agri laws long overdue
In his speech, Modi said the new agricultural laws brought by the Centre have not come overnight, but were long overdue. He insisted that the existing regime of support price for farm produce will continue.
Political parties, agriculture experts and progressive farmers demanded such agri reforms for long, he said and attacked the Opposition for misleading cultivators on the issue of MSP (minimum support price) and APMCs.
He also urged political parties to "keep all the credit for their old election manifestos" which had reportedly promised agriculture sector reforms and asked them to stop misguiding the farmers over the new farm laws.
"If they want to take credit for these farm laws, they should do so, but they should stop misleading farmers on theissue by spreading lies," he said.
Opposition parites sat over Swaminathan Commission report: Modi
The prime minister also accused the Opposition parties of lying to farmers, and asked why they didn't implement the Swaminathan Commission report.
"Opposition parties, when in power, sat over the Swaminathan committee report for years, but the BJP-ledgovernment implemented its recommendations in the interest of farmers," the prime minister said.
"If we'd to remove MSP, why would we implement Swaminathan Commission report? Our govt is serious about the MSP, that's why we declare it before sowing season every year. This makes it easy for farmers to make calculations," said Narendra Modi on Friday.