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February 24, 2021 / 11:00 PM IST

Farmers' Protest Highlights: Rajnath Singh could resolve impasse if allowed to, says BKU's Naresh Tikait

Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates: The 'Delhi Chalo' farmers' protest at border points of New Delhi has entered the 91st day today

Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates: The 'Delhi Chalo' farmers' protest at border points of New Delhi has entered the 91st day today. Thousands of farmers, especially from Punjab and Haryana, are staging a sit-in protest along Delhi borders. The protest started on November 26, 2020. The farmers are demanding a complete rollback of the new farm reform laws and a guarantee on the Minimum
Support Price (MSP) system being retained. Multiple rounds of talks between the Centre and the farmers’ union leaders have ended in a stalemate. Protesting farmers fear that the new laws will dismantle the MSP system and corporatise farming. The Supreme Court had earlier ordered a stay on the implementation of these contentious laws, hoping it will end the protest. The farm union leaders have also rejected the Centre's proposal to suspend implementation of the laws for 18 months. On January 26, the protest turned violent when some farmers deviated from a pre-decided route for their Republic Day tractor rally and clashed with police. Some protesters scaled the ramparts of the Red Fort. Several protestors and police personnel were injured in the ensuing clashes. The farmers' unions also held a 'chakka jam' on February 6 where they blocked national and state highways to protest the internet ban in areas near their agitation sites and harassment allegedly meted out to them by authorities, among other issues.
  • February 24, 2021 / 11:00 PM IST

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  • February 24, 2021 / 10:53 PM IST

    Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | The government is ready to resume talks with protesting farmers if they respond to its offer to put the three contentious farm laws on hold for one-and-a-half year and work out the difference during that time through a joint committee, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said. 

    "Bharat sarkar kisano se puri samvedana ke saath charcha karti rahi hai. Aaj bhi jab unka koi mat aayega, toh Bharat sarkar hamesha kisano ke saath charcha karne ko taiyaar hai (The government has been holding discussions with farmers sympathetically. Even today, whenever their response comes, the government is always ready to hold talks)," wire agency PTI quoted him as saying.

  • February 24, 2021 / 10:33 PM IST

     Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | Union Minister RL Kataria skips event in Ambala following protest by farmers

    Union minister Rattan Lal Kataria skipped one of his scheduled events at Ambala city following a protest by farmers on the site. However, the minister of state for jal shakti and social justice and empowerment attended two other public programmes where a large number of police force was deployed.

    Kataria, who is the BJP MP from Ambala, was scheduled to attend a function at the shop of a tea trader located in an old grain market along with BJP MLA from Ambala city Aseem Goel. A group of farmers agitating against the Centre's new farm laws gathered there and started protesting before the minister was to arrive there.

    "The Centre is not rolling back the farm laws. When the government is not listening to our voice, what option are we left with," a farmer protesting at the site told reporters when asked why they did not allow the minister to carry on with his event.


  • February 24, 2021 / 09:39 PM IST

    Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | Rs 1.15 lakh crore transferred to 10.75 crore farmers under PM-KISAN: Tomar

    The Centre on Wednesday said it has transferred over Rs 1.15 lakh crore directly to bank accounts of more than 10.75 crore farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme and asked states to ensure that all eligible beneficiaries are covered in this flagship programme. Addressing a function on the occasion of the second anniversary of the PM-KISAN, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government has enhanced the income of farmers by providing Rs 6,000 annually to farmers under this scheme in three equal instalments.

    The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 24, 2019, from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. Separately, Modi tweeted about the anniversary that his government ushered a historic increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops and was doing everything possible to double the income of farmers. He also said that over the last seven years, the government has taken many initiatives for transforming agriculture. 


  • February 24, 2021 / 09:06 PM IST

     Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | Petition in Supreme Court seeks setting up of panel on farmers' rights

    A petition was been filed before the Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking to set up statutory commissions for framers at the national and the state levels to safeguard the fundamental and legal rights of tillers and the farm community in the country. The petition sought a direction to the Centre and all the states to implement report of National Commission on Farmers (NCF) constituted under the Chairmanship of Professor M S Swaminathan.

    The petition filed by advocate Shiv Kumar Tripathi clamied that farmers and farm community in India “has been denied social, economic and political justice.” “They have been denied equality of status and of opportunity and self dignity has taken the back seat. More and more farmers are compelled to end their life by committing suicide,” the petition filed through advocate Kamal Mohan Gupta said.

    The petition said that about 15 years have lapsed since the filing of the Report by the NCF, but no concrete step has been taken by the successive governments to set up a permanent statutory body at national and state level. 


  • February 24, 2021 / 08:23 PM IST

     Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | SKM writes to President, demands 'unconditional' release of farmers arrested in 'false' cases

    The Samkyukta Kisan Morcha on Wednesday wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind demanding "unconditional" release of arrested farmers and withdrawal of "false" cases in connection with the stir against the agri laws. In its letter, the Morcha, an umbrella body offarmer unions agitating against the three central laws, also said that notices allegedly being sent by police and other investigating agencies to the protesting farmers should be stopped. 

    "Under the banner of Samkyukta Kisan Morcha, farmers have been staging sit-in around Delhi for the last threemonths, but hundreds of farmers and agitation supporters have been lodged in jails by the Government of India and many state governments and false cases have been registered against them," stated the letter shared by the SKM. It saidthat "innocent" farmers should be released from jails without any condition.

    The letter was sent to the President as protesting farmer unions observed the day as "Daman Pratirodh Diwas". Meanwhile, the SKM welcomed the release of climate activist Disha Ravi, arrested by the Delhi Police in the toolkit case earlier this month.


  • February 24, 2021 / 07:51 PM IST

     Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | 'Caged tiger' Rajnath Singh could resolve impasse if allowed to talk to farmers: Naresh Tikait

    Bharatiya Kisan Union president Naresh Tikait on Wednesday called Defence Minister Rajnath Singh a caged parrot and said the farmers' issues could be resolved if he is given the freedom to talk with them. He accused the BJP-led central government of being stubborn over the three new laws, which farmer unions want repealed. The protesting farmers too are not ready to go back on their demands, he said. 

    The government has made Defence Minister Rajnath Singh a caged parrot ('pinjre ka tota'). If he is given the freedom to talk to farmers, I can guarantee that there would be a decision and the BJP's prestige will also remain intact, he said. He said farmers respect the Defence Minister, but he is not given a chance by the government to deal with the farmers' issue. 

    Tikait addressed a farmers' "mahapanchyat" here and also spoke to reporters, claiming that the Centre was not paying heed to the farmers protesting against the laws. The government is stubborn and is not ready to hear out farmers. It should change its attitude," the BKU leader said.

    "If the PM is not ready to repeal the laws, we are also not going to backtrack. The farmers are ruined and not getting the right price for their produce. The rise in prices of power, petrol and diesel has affected them also," he said.


  • February 24, 2021 / 07:13 PM IST

     Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | Centre extends deployment of paramilitary forces in Haryana till February 28

    The Centre has extended the period of paramilitary forces' deployment in Haryana till February 28 for law and order duties during farmers' agitation, news agency ANI reported. Haryana, along with Punjab and western Uttar Pradesh, is one of the epicentres of the ongoing farmers' protest against the Centre's agriculture reform laws.

  • February 24, 2021 / 06:50 PM IST

     Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | SKM writes to President Kovind, demand end to farmers' repression

    The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the umbrella body leading the farmers' stir, wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind demanding an "end to repression of protesting farmers and their supporters", news agency ANI reported. The Morcha on February 24 observed the 'Daman Pratirodh Diwas'. Their demand before the Centre continued to remain the complete repeal of the three farm reform laws.

  • February 24, 2021 / 06:30 PM IST

     Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | BJP supporters want to suppress farmers' opposition to agri laws: Ajit Singh

    Rashtriya Lok Dal president Ajit Singh on Tuesday alleged that BJP supporters want to suppress the farmers' opposition to the new contentious agriculture laws by the use of force. The RLD chief said this during his visit to Soram village here a day after a clash between supporters of his party and the BJP in the presence of Union minister Sanjeev Balyan, which resulted in injuries to three to four people. 

    Citing the ongoing farmers' protest against the new farm laws in Delhi, Singh, a former Union minister, alleged that the BJP-led government has made it a habit to use force to suppress any farmer's voice. First they lobbed tear gas shells at protesters in Delhi, then opened water cannons on them during winter, baton charged them. The government then barricaded the protest sites to stop the farmers and even called the protesters Khalistani and terrorist, only to insult the farming community,Singh said at Soram, the headquarters of the 'sarv khap', which wields influence on farmers and locals in the region.

    Now, the BJP supporters want to suppress the farmers' opposition by the use of force, he claimed, according to an RLD statement. Talking about the farmers' movement, Singh wondered if it was wrong to oppose the contentious laws and support the farmers who are protesting against it. Or is it wrong to ask why the rates of sugarcane have not been increased or why the rate of diesel and petrol and power bills are continuing to rise every day or why there is no law on MSP (minimum support price) for crops, he asked. Singh, the son of former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh, alleged that over 200 people have died during the ongoing farmers' protest in Delhi but the government is not ready to listen to them and is only busy insulting the community. 


  • February 24, 2021 / 05:53 PM IST

     Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | False narrative created that farmers will lose land, won't get support price: Balyan

    With khaps in western Uttar Pradesh throwing their weight behind the ongoing protest against the Centre's new farm laws, BJP leader and Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan on Wednesday said the issue has become "emotional" and acknowledged that his party and the government might not have been able to explain the benefits of the legislations to farmers. Balyan, who has been criss-crossing the region for a week as part of an outreach effort and has met local people and heads of khaps (cast councils), told PTI, "Farmers are facing problems today and no one can deny that. They are vulnerable and need protection from the government." 

    The farmers have some genuine issues such as prices of sugarcane have not been increased for the last few years and that need to be resolved, says Balyan, who belongs to the dominant Jaat community engaged in farming in western Uttar Pradesh. Asserting that a "wrong perception" has been spread among farmers, the minister said, "A false narrative has been created that farmers with the implementation of these laws would lose their land and wouldn't get support price for their crops. And perhaps we might not have been able to make them understand the positives of these laws."


  • February 24, 2021 / 05:20 PM IST

     Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates | Govt committed to double farmers' income, says Agriculture Minister

    "Government of India is committed to double farmers' income and work towards agriculture's welfare. Discussions have been held many times, if they've a point to raise even now, we're ready to discuss," news agency ANI quoted Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar as saying.