Farmers' protest Updates: The Union agriculture minister's comments come after the Uttar Pradesh-based Bharatiya Kisan Union (Kisan) submitted a memorandum to the minister with suggestions and decided to call off its protest for now
Farmers' protest Updates: Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the farm sector lawshave been welcomed in various states across the country but the Centre is willing to continue its talks with "genuine farm unions" to find a solution with an open mind. He also said that the Minimum Support Price (MSP), at which the government commits to procure the produce from farmers, is an administrative decision and it "will continue as it is".
Tomars' comments come after the Uttar Pradesh-based Bharatiya Kisan Union (Kisan) submitted a memorandum to the minister with suggestions and decided to call off its protest for now
In the press conference, several farmer leaders called upon people to pay tributes on 20 December to those farmers who have lost their lives during the ongoing protests. Farmers' leader Rishipal told PTI that on an average, one farmer died per day since the agitation began in the last week of November.
Addressing a press conference at Singhu Border, farmer leaders said the fight over the new farm laws has reached a stage where they are "determined to win it no matter what". Farmer leader Jagjeet Dallewal said, "The government is saying 'we won't repeal these laws', we are saying we will make you do it."
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram Tuesday asked the government to repeal the new agri laws, which have sparked a protest by farmers, and bring in a fresh bill after reaching an agreement with the agitating peasants.
Four Punjab farmers returning from protest sites near Delhi borders were killed in two separate road accidents on Tuesday, reports PTI. In the first incident, two farmers belonging to Patiala were killed in an early morning accident after their tractor-trolley was hit by a truck in Haryana's Karnal district, police said.
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal has called former ally BJP as the real 'tukde tukde gang' which is trying to push patriotic Punjab into communal flames. "BJP is the real 'Tukde Tukde Gang' in the country".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday reached out to farmers in Gujarat's Kutch and said the Opposition is spreading fears, adding that the Government of India is always committed to farmer welfare. He said, "The agriculture reforms that have taken place are exactly what farmer bodies and even Opposition have been asking over the years. The government of India is always committed to farmer welfare and we will keep assuring the farmers and addressing their concerns."
Two Punjab farmers who were returning to Patiala from a protest site near Delhi's borders were killed in an early morning accident on Tuesday after their tractor-trolley was hit by a truck in Haryana's Karnal district, police said. Another farmer has received injuries in the incident which took place on Taraori flyover, they said, adding a few more on the trolley escaped with minor injuries.
A daily loss of Rs 3,000-3500 crore is resulting in the economies of the region from the value chain and transport disruption because of the protests, according to ASSOCHAM rough estimates.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the farmers' movement now seems to pursue the "cause of tukde tukde gang", adding that those who want to create unrest, anarchy and division in this country are now trying to misguide the farmers.
Over 2,000 women from the families of those protesting at the Singhu border here are likely to join the demonstration in the coming days.
Some members of the Aam Aadmi Party and the Samajwadi Party have alleged that they were prevented by police from carrying out demonstrations in support of farmers protesting the Centre's new farm reform laws. AAP spokesperson Sanjeev Nigam alleged that his party's district unit president Bhupendra Jadaun was put under house arrest at his home in Noida.
Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said that dialogue is the only way forward to end the stalemate with protesting farmers. He appealed them to understand the agri laws and not be misguided.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet members of the farming community, including Sikh cultivators in Gujarat, during a visit to Kutch district on Tuesday, a day after leaders of unions observed a hunger strike on Monday.
The hunger strike, observed by 40 farmers’ union leaders from 8 am till 5 pm, earned the support of Delhi chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the Centre want the discussions on farm laws to be held “clause by clause.” However, the farm unions, who organised a peaceful Bharat Bandh last Tuesday against the laws, have repeatedly stressed they want nothing short of a total repeal.
Meanwhile, Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, which is spearheading the protests at Delhi border points, distributed handbills in Hindi to commuters on the Jaipur-Delhi Highway near Haryana-Rajasthan borders, where hundreds of farmers have been camping for almost past three weeks now, to convey their apology, and also reiterate their demand for legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price (MSP).
"Blocking roads, causing inconvenience to the public is not our aim," read their pamphlets. "We are sitting here under a compulsion. Yet we apologise with folded hands if our agitation has caused you any inconvenience."
Farm unions intensified their ongoing agitation in several parts of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh on Monday by sitting on fast and organising demonstrations, triggering traffic snarls that lasted for several hours in some places, particularly paralysing transport on NH-8, the main link between Rajasthan and Delhi.