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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Farmers’ protest Highlights: Will continue to work to strengthen farmers with full force, dedication, says PM Modi after flagging off ‘Kisan Rail’

Farmers' Protest Highlights: As the ongoing farmers' protest entered its 33rd day on Monday, Agriculture Ministry wrote to the farmers' unions requesting them to meet Centre on December 30, instead of December 29 (Tuesday) as suggested by the farmer leaders.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 29, 2020 7:50:18 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. (Photo: Twitter @narendramodi)

Farmers’ Protest Highlights: Flagging off the 100th Kisan Rail on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government will continue to work to strengthen farmers with full force, dedication. “Kisan Rail and Krishi Udaan will help farmers to sell their commodities in other states. Kisan Rail has expanded market for farmers,” PM Modi said. “They can now sell their commodities in those parts of the country where the demand for those specific products is more,” he added. This will empower the farmers by reducing their cost and hence increasing their income, he said.

As the ongoing farmers’ protest entered its 33rd day on Monday, Agriculture Ministry wrote to the farmers’ unions requesting them to meet Centre at Vigyan Bhawan on December 30, 2 pm, instead of December 29 (Tuesday) as suggested by the farmer leaders. In the letter, they said they are committed to resolving the issues faced by farmers over the three new laws.

Meanwhile, a 55-year-old Barnala-based farmer, Sukhdev Singh Gurm, died of heart attack while sitting on a dharna outside BJP district president Yadwinder Singh. Gurm was protesting outside Yadwinder’s since October 1.

Social activist Anna Hazare has threatened to go on a hunger strike if his demands on issues concerning farmers are not met by the Union government by the end of January next year, and said that it would be his “last protest”, reported PTI. Hazare said he had been holding protests for cultivators since the last three years, but the government has done nothing to resolve the issues.

Live Blog

Farmers' Protest Highlights: Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar welcomes return to talks; farmers from UP and Uttarakhand make their way to Ghazipur; next round of talks tomorrow. Follow this space for the latest updates   Follow latest updates here.

21:34 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Top developments in farmers' protest today

Protesting farmer unions Monday agreed to a government proposal for holding the next round of discussion on the new farm laws on December 30. However, they insisted the agenda of the meeting should include discussing modalities for repealing the three legislations.  Earlier in the day, the Centre had  invited 40 protesting union leaders for talks on Wednesday to find a "logical solution" to the current impasse over the farm laws. The government's invite followed a proposal made by unions last week to hold the talks on Tuesday.

"The government is also committed to finding a logical solution on all relevant issues with a clear intention and an open mind," the letter written by Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Aggarwal to the farmer unions said. In the last meeting between the two sides on December 5, farmer leaders had demanded a clear "yes or no" answer from the government on their key demand of the repeal of the three laws. Click to know all the developments in farmers' protest

 

17:27 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Will continue to work to strengthen farmers with full force, dedication: PM Modi after flagging off 'Kisan Rail'

Flagging off the 100th Kisan Rail on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government will continue to work to strengthen farmers with full force, dedication. "Kisan Rail and Krishi Udaan will help farmers to sell their commodities in other states. Kisan Rail has expanded market for farmers," PM Modi said. "They can now sell their commodities in those parts of the country where the demand for those specific products is more," he added. This will empower the farmers by reducing their cost and hence increasing their income, he said.

17:17 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Kisan Rail, Krishi Udaan will help farmers to sell their commodities in other states: PM Modi

"Kisan Rail and Krishi Udaan will help farmers to sell their commodities in other states. Kisan Rail has expanded market for farmers," PM Modi said. "They can now sell their commodities in that part of the country where the demand for that specific commodity is more," he added.

17:13 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Rs 10,000 cr approved for micro food processing industries under 'Atmanirbhar' package: PM Modi

"Under PM Krishi Sampada Yojana, around 6,500 projects like mega food parks, cold chain infrastructure, agro-processing clusters have been approved. Rs 10,000 crore have been approved for micro food processing industries under government's 'Atmanirbhar' package," ANI qupted PM Modi as saying.

17:06 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Kisan Rail is like a moving cold storage facility: PM Modi

"Kisan Rail is like a moving cold storage facility. Perishable items like fruits, vegetables, milk, fish etc can be safely transported from one place to another in time," PM Narendra Modi said.

17:00 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Kisan Rail big step towards empowering farmers: PM Modi

"Kisan Rail is a big step towards empowering the farmers and increasing their income," says PM Narendra Modi after flagging off 100th Kisan Rail.

16:58 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Centre calls unions for meeting on December 30, says committed to resolve issues

As the ongoing farmers' protest entered its 33rd day on Monday, Agriculture Ministry wrote to the farmers' unions requesting them to meet Centre at Vigyan Bhawan on December 30, 2 pm, instead of December 29 (Tuesday) as suggested by the farmer leaders. In the letter, they said they are committed to resolving the issues faced by farmers over the three new laws.

16:53 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Despite pandemic, Kisan Rail network expanded in the last 4 months: PM Modi

"I congratulate crores of farmers of the country. Despite COVID-19 challenge, Kisan Rail network has expanded in the last four months and got its 100th rail now," PM Narendra Modi at the inauguration event.

16:52 (IST)28 Dec 2020
PM Modi flags off 100th Kisan Rail

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday flagged off 100th Kisan Rail from Sangola in Maharashtra to Shalimar in West Bengal, via video conferencing. Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal also present.

15:55 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Barnala: Farmer dies of heart attack at dharna site outside BJP district chief's house

Barnala-based farmer Sukhdev Singh Gurm died of heart attack outside district BJP president's house where he was staging dharna 24x7 since October 1.

15:05 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Leaders of 25 farmer bodies hand over letter in support of farm laws to Tomar

Delhi: Leaders of around 25 farmer organisations today met & handed over to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar a letter in support of the new agriculture laws.

14:16 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Power disrupted to mobile towers: Punjab farmer unions say focus on boycott of telecom firm, blame ‘miscreants’

Some farmer groups in Punjab continued to disrupt power supply to Reliance Jio mobile towers Sunday, despite Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s appeals against the same. Sources said power to more than 150 mobile towers had been snapped in the past 24 hours. Till date, power supply to over 1,338 such mobile towers has been cut off.

The latest happened in Talwandi Sabo area of Bathinda. Even in Fazilka, the same thing was done in many border villages. Iinfrastructure too was damaged in some areas. In Moosa village of Mansa, one pole connected to the tower was thrown away while a cable box was also found burnt. Sources said some villagers manhandled employees of a company when they went to repair the cables.

13:44 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Among sea of protesters at Singhu, women-only tents offer a safe and private space for many

A month ago, 26-year-old Rupinder Singh, a student from Punjab’s Moga, joined the farmers’ protest at Singhu with one intention — to listen, and to solve problems. If an ingredient in a langar was over, he would fetch that; if a protester couldn’t read the newspaper, he would read out the news item aloud; if someone needed hot water to bathe, Singh would help them find a geyser.

So, when he realised that women protesters returned to their villages and towns in Punjab quicker than men due to lack of privacy, Singh knew he had to arrange tents just for them. On Friday, Singh and his friends set up 70 waterproof tents in a space cleared up between tractors from Moga, 500 metres from the main stage.

13:15 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Congress MLAs protest against farm laws in Madhya Pradesh

Congress MLAs in Madhya Pradesh held a peaceful protest opposing the Centre's new farm laws on Monday. Congress has alleged that the three-day assembly session was postponed fearing farm protests by the party.

The Assembly session, scheduled to begin today, was postponed after 60 officials and staffers, including five MLAs, tested positive for Covid-19, officials said Sunday. 

11:25 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Anna Hazare threatens to launch his "last protest" for farmers

Social activist Anna Hazare has threatened to go on a hunger strike if his demands on issues concerning farmers are not met by the Union government by the end of January next year, and said that it would be his "last protest", reported PTI.

Hazare said he had been holding protests for cultivators since the last three years, but the government has done nothing to resolve the issues.

"The government is just giving empty promises due to which I do not have any trust left (in the government)...Let's see, what action the Centre takes on my demands. They have sought time for a month, so I have given them time till January-end. If my demands are not met, I will resume my huger strike protest. This would be my last protest," the 83-year-old said.


Hazare had written a letter to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on December 14, warning of a hunger strike if his demands like the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee's recommendations and granting autonomy to the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), were not accepted.

10:42 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Govt should listen to farmers and take back farm laws: Priyanka Gandhi

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Monday said the government is answerable to farmers, adding that it should listen to the farmers and take back the farm laws. 

09:55 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Woman dies in road accident in Haryana

A 70-year-old woman from Mazdoor Mukti Morcha died in a road accident in Haryana's Fatehabad while she was on her way back from Delhi border. Malkiat Kaur was hit by a car while crossing the road to eat langar.

00:12 (IST)28 Dec 2020
Punjab CM, SAD attack BJP for calling agitating farmers 'urban Naxals'

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh launched a scathing attack on the BJP on Sunday over the malicious and derogatory terms allegedly used by its senior leaders against protesting farmers. Singh asked the saffron party to stop maligning the farmers and their genuine fight for justice by using offensive terms such as "urban Naxals, Khalistanis, hooligans" etc. "If the BJP cannot distinguish between anguished citizens fighting for their survival and terrorists, militants and hooligans, it should give up all pretence of being a people's party.

"A party which treats citizens exercising their democratic right to protest as Naxals and terrorists has lost all right to rule over those citizens," the chief minister said in a statement here.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) too condemned the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for allegedly terming Punjab's farmers as "urban Naxals". Singh hit out at BJP general secretary Tarun Chugh over his alleged description of Punjab's farmers as "urban Naxals". He said with these remarks, the BJP leadership has hit a new low in its desperation to promote its political agenda. PTI

22:43 (IST)27 Dec 2020
10 jail inmates on hunger strike: ‘With farmers against new farm laws’

IN solidarity with the farmers protesting against the new farm laws brought by the BJP government at the Centre, at least 10 activists lodged at Dumdum Central Jail on Sunday started their “symbolic” hunger strike. Eight inmates of Behrampur jail are expected to go on a hunger strike from Monday.

The inmates, most of them arrested in connection with Maoist cases, in a letter announcing their hunger strike accused the Central government of taking advantage of lockdown and pandemic to pass the farm laws “to benefit the corporates”. They alleged that while the farmers are fighting for their rights in this bitter winter, the government instead of showing some solidarity is trying to complicate the matter.

“The Central government should have at least shown a soft attitude towards the farmers,” the inmates wrote. Read more

19:58 (IST)27 Dec 2020
Farm laws: Rajasthan Congress to hold dialogue with farmers

The Congress will hold dialogue with farmers in every Assembly constituency in Rajasthan from December 28 to 30 to make them aware about the Centre's three farm laws which the party said was against the interests of the peasantry. Congress state president Govind Singh Dotasra said the Rajasthan government is with the agitating farmers and support their demand for repeal of the laws. --PTI

Meanwhile, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Monday said the government should listen to the farmers and take back the farm laws. "It is a sin to use the kind of words they are using for farmers. Government is answerable to farmers. Government should listen to them and take back the laws," she tweeted.

On Sunday, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar described the farm unions’ decision to return to the negotiation table as “good step” and expressed hope that a solution would be found to the stalemate over the new farm laws through discussions. “Main ummeed karta hoon ki kisan paristhiti aur kanoon ki sachchai ko samajhenge, vaarta hogi, aur uska samadhaan niklega (I hope that the farmers will appreciate the situation and the reality of the law; talks will take place, and a solution will be found),” Tomar told The Indian Express.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, meanwhile, reaffirmed that the Centre has no intention of scrapping the minimum support price (MSP) regime, and that no “ma ka lal (no one)” can take away land from the farmers.

Farmer unions in Haryana announced that they would continue to allow toll-free movement of vehicles on highways until the Centre accepted their demands. In other news, Singhu and Ghazipur borders saw a noisy morning on Sunday, with the farmers banging thaalis during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio address.

Having sowed wheat and peas for the season, thousands of farmers from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand left their hometowns to join the protest at the Ghazipur border. With around 1,000 tractor-trolleys arriving over the last five days and tents being set up till the end of the border, the protest is now 10 times bigger, said farmers. A UP police constable said the number of protesters has gone up from around 5,000 to 20,000 in the last 10 days.

As the protest grows in size, help poured in from far and wide. On Sunday, Gursewak Singh (23) from UP’s Pilibhit distributed shampoo, soap, winter garments and warm blankets. Volunteers of Khalsa Aid International distributed essentials and managed traffic. To keep the cold at bay, desi geysers were also being distributed by a number of gurdwara committees.

However, an advocate from Jalalabad in Punjab’s Fazilka district, who had been protesting with farmers affiliated to the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Ugrahan at Delhi’s Tikri border, died by suicide on Sunday morning.

Amarjit Singh Rai consumed the farm pesticide sulphos about 200 metres from the stage at the protest site that farmers have named Gadri Gulab Kaur Nagar. Before collapsing, he gave two printed letters — one of which was addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi — to other protesters.

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