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Farmers' Protest Updates: Tomar says hopeful of resolution soon; call on Centre's talks offer tomorrow, say groups

Farmers' Protest Updates: At a presser on Delhi's Singh border, farmer leader Kulwant Singh Sandhi said a decision on Centre's letter for talks will be taken on Wednesday after a meeting with farmers leaders from across the country

FP Staff December 22, 2020 23:44:11 IST
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Farmers' Protest Updates: Tomar says hopeful of resolution soon; call on Centre's talks offer tomorrow, say groups

Farmers' strike. File Photo/PTI

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Dec 22, 2020 - 23:22 (IST)

Why can't govt suspend farm laws till winter ends, asks Prakash  Ambedkar

Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi president Prakash Ambedkar asked why the Union government doesn't suspend the new farm laws till winter gets over as
protests on Delhi borders are continuing in chilly weather. At least 26 days have passed and protesting farmers are braving 2 degrees Celsius temperature, he said at a press conference
 
 "The Modi government should answer why it can't suspend these laws till winter is over," Ambedkar said. The VBA chief congratulated farmers for bringing to
the fore the `fact' that the new laws would lead to the government stopping the purchase of farm produce.It will affect food security, Ambedkar claimed.
 
PTI

Dec 22, 2020 - 23:06 (IST)

Farmer block all lanes of NH-9 for eight hours

Farmers camping at UP Gate on Delhi-Ghaziabad border blocked all 14 lanes of the National Highway 9 from 9 am to 5 pm and and lifted the blockade on the carriageway from Delhi to Ghaziabad after repeated requests by the administration. Some protesters also allegedly manhandled a journalist and photographer. On getting a complaint about manhandling of journalists, BKU national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait reprimanded a group of youngsters among protesting farmers for misbehaving with journalists. BKU’s state president Rajbir Singh told PTI that the highway was blocked because tractor trolleys of some farmers coming from Bareilly and Rampur districts were intercepted by local police. Ghaziabad District Magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey said a committee of representatives of all the farmers’ outfits camping at the UP Gate has been formed. The farmers lifted the blockade of one carriageway of the highway after the committee members were apprised of the problems of commuters, he said.

Dec 22, 2020 - 20:21 (IST)

Protesters block highway near Rampur-Moradabad border

Hundreds of protestors blocked a key highway leading to Delhi in western Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday after they were allegedly stopped by police from moving to the National Capital to join the farmers' stir against the new agriculture laws. The protesters, belonging to districts like Rampur, Pilibhit and Moradabad had gathered on the National Highway-24 at the Rampur-Moradabad border in the afternoon amid heavy deployment of police personnel.  Some of the protesters mobbed the official vehicle of a senior police officer while some others confronted other personnel during the chaos that led to a long traffic jam, according to purported videos that surfaced on social media.  One of the videos showed a senior police officer leaving the site in a Toyota Innova but was waylaid by scores of protesters, prompting its driver to reverse it in a rush as the mob kept banging the exteriors of the car. 

According to a Moradabad police official, The law and order situation broke out after the protesters outnumber the personnel deployed on the highway to control the crowd. 

PTI

Dec 22, 2020 - 19:55 (IST)

Congress to submit two crore signatures seeking repeal of farm laws

Senior Congress leader KC Venugopal in a statement said that a delegation of Congress leaders, led by former party chief Rahul Gandhi, will meet President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday to submit a memorandum 20 million signatures collected from across the country in the past three months seeking repeal of the three farm laws.

Venugopal said that the party had launched a nationwide campaign in September for collecting memoranda of appeals addressed to the President signed by farmers, farm labourers and other stake holders opposing the three new farm legislations and two crore signature calling for the president’s intervention for repeal of these laws had been collected till now.

Dec 22, 2020 - 19:41 (IST)

Farmers from Maharashtra march to Delhi

A group of farmers from Maharashtra has left for Delhi to support the peasants who are protesting at borders of the National Capital since November 26. Reporters travelling with the cultivators tweeted images from the march. Earlier in the day, a group of farmers also staged a protest outside the office of Mumbai suburban
district collector. 

 

Dec 22, 2020 - 19:33 (IST)

Congress MLAs walk out of Uttarakhand Assembly

The Opposition Congress staged a walkout from the Uttarakhand Assembly in protest against the Centre's new farm laws, saying they were meant to destroy farmers. The Congress MLAs walked out when state Agriculture Minister Subodh Uniyal accused the party of being hand in glove with middlemen and fomenting the agitation to retrieve its lost political ground. The Congress members led by Leader of Opposition Indira Hridayesh rose from their seats in protest when Uniyal said they did not seem to have read the new farm laws thoroughly and their party was misleading farmers to suit its own political ends. Asking why farmers are out in the streets in severe cold if the new farm laws are in their favour as being claimed by the Centre, Hridayesh said the ongoing agitation by farmers has drawn international attention with even Canada supporting the stir. Accusing the government of being insensitive to the plight of farmers, she said it sits unperturbed while farmers are dying. The heated exchange between the treasury and Opposition benches was witnessed in the Assembly during a debate on the admissibility of an adjournment motion on the new farm laws. 

PTI

Dec 22, 2020 - 19:02 (IST)

Two more groups extend support to farm laws

 Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said he is hopeful that protesting unions would soon complete their internal discussions and resume talks with the government to resolve the crisis. He met two more peasants' bodies from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh that extended support to the legislations. "Representatives of different farmers' bodies had come to tell that the laws are good and are in the interest of farmers. They had come to urge the government not make any amendments to the laws," Tomar said after meeting the two groups. "I am hopeful they (protesting farmers' unions) will soon complete their internal discussions and come forward for talks. We will be able to find a solution successfully," the minister said.

Dec 22, 2020 - 18:48 (IST)

Kerala governor declines assent for special Assembly session

Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Tuesday declined approval for a special session of the state Assembly to discuss and pass a resolution against the Centre's three contentious farm laws, reported LiveLaw.  The session would not be held on Wednesday, as proposed by CPM led LDF government, since the Governor did not accord sanction, sources told news agency PTI. They also told the news agency that the governor had sought a clarification on the urgency for the session after the government forwarded the state Cabinet's decision to convince such a session. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had replied to him, the sources added.

Dec 22, 2020 - 18:33 (IST)

Protesting farmers to further intensify stir

Farmers' leaders on Tuesday said they will further intensify their protests, according to reports. "Farmers will make toll plazas free between 26 and 28 December  in Haryana. The Punjabi community will also hold demonstrations at Indian embassies on 25 and 26 December," India Today quotes farmer leader Kulwant Singh Sandhu as saying at a press conference at Delhi's Singh border.

As per news agency PTI, Sandhu said that they would also write to Britain MPs, urging them to press their Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to attend India's Republic Day celebrations on 26 January.  Johnson will be the chief guest at the event next month.

Dec 22, 2020 - 18:28 (IST)

UDF takes out march to Raj Bhavan in Kerala

The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) Opposition in Kerala took out a march to the Raj Bhavan to express solidarity with farmers protesting at the borders of Delhi. Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, former chief minister Oommen Chandy, UDFm convener MM Hassan, and leaders of the front participated in the march and dharna.MPs, MLAs and various farmers organisations of the front also took part in the protest.
 
PTI

Farmers' Protest LATEST Updates: Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Tuesday declined approval for a special session of the state Assembly to discuss and pass a resolution against the Centre's three contentious farm laws. The decision to convene a special session of the state Assembly was taken by the state Cabinet on Monday in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

At a presser on Delhi's Singh border, farmer leader Kulwant Singh Sandhi said a decision on Centre's letter for talks will be taken on Wednesday.

In a letter to 40 farmers leaders on Sundaythe Union Agriculture Ministry joint secretary Vivek Aggarwal asked them to specify their concerns over its earlier proposal of amendments in the laws and choose a convenient date for the next round of talks so that the ongoing agitation could end at the earliest.

A group of protesting farmers  showed black flags to Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar when his convoy was passing through Ambala City, said reports.

Some of the farmers allegedly tried to block Khattar's motorcade but police managed to provide a safe passage to the chief minister, reported news agency PTI quoting sources.

"AITUC Unions to observe 23 December as 'Skip Lunch' day to express solidarity with the relay hunger strike by the joint front of Kisan organisations," said Amarjeet Kaur, General Secretary, AITUC in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The Central government is trying to sidestep the genuine demands of the farmers,  which are not only in the interest of farmers but are in the interest of the public at large and also in national interest, the statement said.

Traffic from Delhi towards Ghazipur and Ghaziabad on Delhi-Meerut Expressway are affected as both side carriageways closed for traffic.

Commission agents known as Arhtiyas in Punjab will keep their shops shut for four days from Tuesday in protest against income tax raids allegedly conducted to intimidate them for supporting the farmers' stir.

The farmer leaders are expected to meet on Tuesday to discuss the next plan of action, said Gurmeet Singh of Krantikari Kisan Union, amid efforts by the unions to draw support from farmers in other states like Bihar for their demand to enact a law assuring Minimum Support Price.

Thousands of farmers from Maharashtra on Monday left for Delhi from Nashik to join the ongoing agitation by cultivators seeking the repeal of three agri laws passed by the Centre.

The farmers, who started off in private vehicles, were led by leaders of the Kisan Sabha. Before proceeding to Delhi in afternoon, the farmers burnt effigies of Central leaders.

A Kisan Sabha leader said farmers from 21 districts in Maharashtra are on their way to Delhi.

He said agriculturists from Maharashtra have been demanding waiving of 'inflated' power bills and implementation of the recommendations of the MS Swaminathan Commiittee.

Their other demands include an aid of Rs 50,000 per acre to those farmers whose crops were damaged due to unseasonal
rains.

Addressing the gathering of farmers, Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha leaders Ashok Dhawale and Ajit Navale criticised
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) over the agri laws.

They alleged that the new farm laws were enacted with the sole purpose of benefiting select corporates at the cost of farmers.

The farmers are expected to reach New Delhi, a distance of over 1,200 kms, on 24 December through Mumbai-Agra national highway, a leader said.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the central government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of Minimum Support Price and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

The government has repeatedly asserted that the MSP and Mandi systems will stay and has accused the opposition of misleading the farmers.

Multiple rounds of talks held between the government and the protesting farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have failed to break the impasse.

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