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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Bharat Bandh HIGHLIGHTS: No meeting between govt and farmers tomorrow; deadlock continues

Opposition parties have announced a meeting with President Ramnath Kovind on Wednesday at 5 pm. The joint delegation of five members will include Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar and others, said CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: December 9, 2020 8:27:27 am
farmer protests, farmer govt talks, amit shah, farmer protests delhi, farm laws, Bharat bandh, Amit Shah farmers talk, Punjab, Haryana, India news, indian express newsFarmers had called Bharat Bandh against the three central farm laws (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

The scheduled meeting between the government and representatives of protesting farmers on Wednesday has been called off, Haryana BKU president Gurnam Singh Chaduni said today. The statement comes after Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday met a group of 13 union leaders in a bid to break the deadlock. “The government will send its proposal by tomorrow. Then we will discuss if there is a need of another meeting. There have been no progress in the talks today. The govt offered amendments but the farmers want the laws should be repealed,” Chaduni told The Indian Express.

Meanwhile, Opposition parities have announced a meeting with President Ramnath Kovind on Wednesday at 5 pm. The joint delegation of five members will include Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar and others, said CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury.

The nationwide bandh called by farmer unions in protest of the Centre’s three farm laws wound to a mostly peaceful close. The farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, blocked key roads during their ‘chakka jam’ protest from 11 am to 3 pm today. Shops and commercial establishments were closed, transport affected and traffic disrupted in many states, with the maximum impact felt in states such as Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. Protesters blocked railway tracks at several places in West Bengal, Bihar, and Odisha. In Delhi, the markets remained mostly opened even as more farmers congregated near the border areas despite heavy security.

In Pictures | Farmers’ ‘Bharat Bandh’ call gets support from all corners

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Read highlights from Bharat Bandh on December 8, 2020

01:12 (IST)09 Dec 2020
Farmers protest: Punjab captain Mandeep first cricketer to reach Singhu

In a first for any national cricketer since the protests by the farmers began against the three farm laws, Punjab captain Mandeep Singh spent a day with the peasants at Singhu border near Delhi Tuesday.

The 28-year-old, who had played for Kings XI Punjab in this year’s IPL, reached Delhi with his elder brother Harvinder Singh and three friends Monday evening and returned to Jalandhar late Tuesday evening.

“I was moved by seeing elders and farmers protesting at the Delhi borders and hence I decided to support them. Farmers have hearts of lions and have been protesting peacefully against the farm bills and I only wish that their demands are met as soon as possible and the issue is resolved so that they can return to their homes…in whatever way we can, we are there for the farmers,” said Mandeep while speaking with The Indian Express on his way back to Jalandhar.

00:52 (IST)09 Dec 2020
Three US lawmakers "deeply concerned" over alleged efforts to suppress farmers protest in India

Three US lawmakers have expressed deep concern over reported efforts to suppress the ongoing farmers' protests in India against agricultural reform bills. Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and several other states have been protesting on various borders of Delhi since November 26, seeking repealing of three farm laws enacted in September.

Dubbing these laws as "anti-farmer", the ryots claim that the newly enacted legislations would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big businesses. However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.

"A respect for the rights of freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, and a thriving civil society are core components of a functioning democracy. We have been distressed this year to see actions by the Indian government that have restricted these rights for many Indians; not only for farmers, but also for religious minorities, and human rights organisations," the three lawmakers said.

00:15 (IST)09 Dec 2020
Farmers’ protest: Punjab’s largest union says not invited to meeting with Amit Shah

Thirteen representatives of Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, a combined body of protesting farmers under the banner of All India Kisan Sangrash Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), met Union Home Minister Amit Shah Tuesday evening. The delegation included nine representatives from Punjab and one each from UP, West Bengal, MP and Haryana. However, not all representatives of the protesting farmers’ unions were called for the meeting.

Joginder Singh Ugrahan, president, BKU Ugrahan, the largest farmers’ union of Punjab, wasn’t among those invited. Voicing his misgivings, Ugrahan said, “Only some farmers’ unions were invited for the informal talks with Union Home Minister Amit Shah. I believe they shouldn’t have gone. After we had just formed the Delhi Morcha in November, I was invited by BJP leader Surjit Jayani for informal talks with the home minister. However, I turned down the talks offer saying I’ll go only when representatives of all farmers’ unions are invited. No one from BKU was invited to the meeting today and hence, none from our union went.” READ FULL STORY HERE

23:30 (IST)08 Dec 2020
Meeting with Amit Shah remains inconclusive; farmers firm on stand

The farmers' meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah remained inconclusive as both sides refused to budge. All India Kisan Sabha General Secretary Hannan said, “In today’s meeting the Home Minister made it clear that the government will not repeal the laws. Shahji said that the government will give tomorrow in writing the amendments which the government is keen to.”

“There is no scope for amendments, we want repeal of laws,” Mollah said, adding “we don’t accept amendments, we want repeal,” Mollah said. “We will let you know about the next round of talks after our meeting at Singhu Border tomorrow.”

23:30 (IST)08 Dec 2020
No meeting between govt and farmers tomorrow: Haryana BKU president

Haryana BKU president Gurnam Singh Chaduni told The Indian Express there will be no meeting between the government and the farmers tomorrow. "The government will send its proposal by tomorrow. Then we will discuss it, and decide whether there is need of another meeting," he said.

23:18 (IST)08 Dec 2020
Govt not ready to take back farm laws; tomorrow's meeting called off: Farmer leader

Hannan Mollah, General Secy, All India Kisan Sabha has said there will be no meeting between farmers & govt tomorrow. "Home minister Amit Shah has said that a proposal will be given to the farmer leaders tomorrow. Farmer leaders will hold a meeting over govt's proposal," he said. "The Government is not ready to take back the farm laws," he added. 

22:24 (IST)08 Dec 2020
Govt's 6th round of talks with farmer leaders tomorrow

The government's sixth round of talks with representatives of farmers protesting at Delhi's borders against three new farm laws is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with select farmmer leaders in a bid to break the deadlock.

Three union ministers -- Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Som Prakash -- will hold discussions again with 40 farmer unions' leaders, including the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) which is spearheading the protests.

The sixth round of meeting comes a day after a 'Bharat Bandh' was observed by the protesting farmer unions, which received support from trade unions, various other organisations as well as 24 opposition parties, including the Congress and the NCP.

21:37 (IST)08 Dec 2020
Amit Shah meets farmer leaders ahead of crucial talks

A day before the government’s crucial sixth round of talks with representatives of protesting farmers, Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday met a group of 13 union leaders in a bid to break the deadlock, news agency PTI reported quoting its sources.  The meeting which began at 8 is currently underway. Leaders including Hannan Mollah of the All India Kisan Sabha and Rakesh Tikait of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) are present at at meeting.

21:36 (IST)08 Dec 2020
Bharat Bandh: FIR filed against Delhi Pradesh Congress President Anil Chowdhury for violating covid rules

The Delhi Police has filed an FIR against Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee President Anil Chowdhury for protesting in support of Bharat Bandh.

20:40 (IST)08 Dec 2020
Delhi BJP calls Kejriwal's house arrest 'drama' to avoid meeting protesting mayors

The Delhi BJP on Tuesday hit out at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, accusing him of doing "drama" over his alleged house arrest to avoid meeting mayors and members of the BJP-ruled municipal corporations staging an indefinite dharna outside his residence.

The mayors of North, South and East Delhi municipal corporations--Jai Prakash, Anamika Mithilesh and Nirmal Jain-- accompanied by Delhi BJP vice president Harsh Malhotra and many women councillors have been protesting outside Kejriwal's Flagstaff Road residence since Monday.

They are demanding payment of "unpaid" dues of Rs 13,000 crore from the Delhi government. Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta and party MPs Parvesh Verma and Meenakshi Lekhi joined the protesting mayors Tuesday morning.

Gupta also tweeted a video purportedly showing the chief minister's car exiting the latter's residence.
"AAP leaders are spreading white lies that CM Arvind Kejriwal is under house arrest since yesterday morning, how is he leaving his residence easily if it is true?" he said.

19:39 (IST)08 Dec 2020
Bharat Bandh has underscored need for repeal of farm laws: Amarinder

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the unity showcased by the farmers through the 'Bharat Bandh' has underscored the need for a repeal of the farm laws. He reiterated that the farm legislations were "anti-farmer" and introduced without any discussion with the stakeholders. On farmers' call, the 'Bharat Bandh', in protest against the Centre's three farm laws, was observed in Punjab, Haryana and other states on Tuesday. Singh asked why the Centre could not heed the demands of the farmers, agitating across the country, to scrap these laws and hold fresh talks with all stakeholders. "Had I been in their place I would not have taken a minute to accept my mistake and revoke the laws," he said in a statement issued here.

19:32 (IST)08 Dec 2020
'Neither a politician, nor a terrorist': Agricultural scientist writes to PM after refusing award

In more symbolic support to the farmers’ protest on the fringes of Delhi, a senior agricultural scientist refused to accept an award from Union minister Sadanand Gowda in solidarity with the ongoing movement for the repeal of the contentious farm laws.

A long line of sports icons, mostly from Punjab, have threatened to return their awards if the Centre doesn’t roll back the three laws that are believed to have stoked the farmers’ unrest.

Dr. Varinderpal Singh, Principal Soil Chemist at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, went up on the dais at an event organised by the Fertilizers Association of India in the Capital on Monday, but refused to receive the award from the Union minister for chemicals and fertilizers.

The golden jubilee award was in recognition of the 48-year-old’s work in the field of plant nutrition. Singh stepped on the dais as his name was announced for the award, but handed copies of a letter he wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, instead, to the minister and Dr. Satish Chander, director, FAI, who was also on stage at the time.

Singh then delivered a short speech, saying, “My conscience does not allow me to receive this award when our farmers are on the roads.” (Report by Raakhi Jagga) 

19:25 (IST)08 Dec 2020
Meet the Doctors Who are Giving Medical Care to Protesting Farmers

These doctors have set up medical camps at Delhi borders for the protesting farmers.

19:23 (IST)08 Dec 2020
Bharat Bandh: All you need to know

Called by the agitating farmers, The Bharat Bandh received backing of over 15 opposition parties. The bandh came ahead of tomorrow’s fresh round of talks between the farmers and Centre.

17:28 (IST)08 Dec 2020
Left parties in Bengauru protest against farm laws

Left political parties protested in support of the #BharatBandh called by farmers unions against the Central government's farm laws on Tuesday in Bengaluru. 

16:21 (IST)08 Dec 2020
Farmers to meet Amit Shah today

farmers are likely to meet Union home minister Amit Shah today. National spokesperson of Bhartiya Kisan Union Rakesh Tikait said farmer leaders will meet the home minister today at around 7pm.

16:16 (IST)08 Dec 2020
Opposition parties to meet President Kovind tomorrow at 5 pm

As farmers' protests intensify, Opposition parities have decided to meet President Ramnath Kovind tomorrow at 5 pm. The joint delegation of five members will include Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar and others, said CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury as quoted by ANI.

16:00 (IST)08 Dec 2020
Protesters at Ambala-Zirakpur highway

Protesters at Ambala-Zirakpur highway hold playcards with Chapatis pasted on it saying ' No farmers, no food'.  Express video/photos by Jaipal Singh 

15:37 (IST)08 Dec 2020
TMC begins sit-in demonstration in support of farmers

The TMC on Tuesday began its three-day-long sit-in demonstration against the new farm laws and demanded that the "anti-people" legislation should be withdrawn immediately. The farmers and agricultural workers wing of the TMC, led by its state president and TMC MLA Becharam Manna, began its sit-in demonstration in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in central Kolkata this afternoon. Party activists carrying placards and demanding the withdrawal of the new farm laws shouted slogans against the BJP government at the Centre. "We support the issues raised by the farmers and will hold protest programmes and sit-in demonstrations. But we are against shutdowns and the bandh culture and will not enforce it in the state," Manna told reporters.

15:28 (IST)08 Dec 2020
Bharat Bandh: Coalfield ops normal, inter-state traffic affected in Jharkhand Ranchi

The nationwide shutdown over the Centre's new farm laws evoked a mixed response in Jharkhand on Tuesday with government offices functioning as usual, private institutions and shops closed in some areas, while local traffic was near normal but long-distance vehicles remained off the roads. Protests and demonstrations were held in Ranchi, Dhanbad, Hazaribagh, Jamshedpur, Palamu, Dumka, Bokaro, Sahibganj and Pakur but no untoward incident was reported from anywhere, officials said. Director-General of Police MV Rao said that the situation in all the districts was peaceful. All the central government and state government offices were functioning normally in Ranchi, but the 'Bharat Bandh' had an impact on private offices and business establishments. Some private establishments were shut, while more than half were open.

A child dressed as Nihang at the farmers protest site in New Delhi on Monday. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

Ahead of Bharat Bandh today, at least 15 political parties and several organisations extened their support to the agitating farmers. In Karnataka, members of around 300 farmers’ organisations would participate in the bandh, Karnataka Rajya Riatha Sangha president K Chandreshekar said. Aikya Horata, a coalition of farmer, labour and Dalit groups, started an indefinite sit-in protest in Bengaluru on Monday. The Karnataka chapter of the All-India Kisan Sangharsh Co-ordination Committee (AIKSCC), a coalition of several farmer organisations, has called for a six-hour bandh on Tuesday.

The Ahmedabad Autorickshaw Drivers’ Union has extended its support to the December 8 Bharat Bandh call given by farmers’ associations protesting against three farm legislations. On Monday, the auto-rickshaw drivers’ union said more than one lakh three-wheelers will remain off the road in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

Markets part of the Mumbai Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) will remain closed on Tuesday to protest the Centre’s new farm bills after a call for Bharat Bandh across the country was announced by various farmers’ unions and organisations. The board of the Mumbai APMC, the wholesale market situated in Navi Mumbai, took the decision on Monday following a call from the Maharashtra State Market Committee to APMCs across the state. Members said all wholesale markets part of the APMC across the state will remain closed.

In Assam, all opposition parties — including Congress, AIUDF, the Left, among others — have come together to extend their “full support” to the Bharat Bandh. In Tamil Nadu, DMK and its allies have extended their support to the nationwide strike called by the farmers.

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