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Farmers’ Protest Highlights: Ongoing protest an exception, limited to one state, says Narendra Tomar

Farmers' Protest Today Highlights: "The ongoing protest is an exception and the agitation is limited to one state. We are holding discussions and talks. I believe there will be an early solution," Tomar said during a virtual conference organised by industry body Assocham.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 17, 2020 9:09:48 am
Farmers protests, Delhi farmers protests, Farm Laws, govt Farmer talks, Delhi Police, Amit Shah, Narendra Singh Tomar, India news, Indian ExpressFarmer's protest against the new Farm Bill at Singhu Border, New Delhi, on Monday, December 14, 2020.

Farmers’ Protest Highlights: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar Wednesday said that the ongoing farmers’ protest at Delhi borders is an “exception” and “limited to one state”. He also hoped for an early solution as the government is in talks with farmer unions.

“The ongoing protest is an exception and the agitation is limited to one state. We are holding discussions and talks. I believe there will be an early solution,” Tomar was quoted as saying by PTI during a virtual conference organised by industry body Assocham.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre and proposed the formation of a committee, with representatives from both the government and farmer unions, to end the deadlock over the three farm laws, news agency PTI reported. A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde and comprising of Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian was hearing a petition seeking removal of the protester from Delhi’s borders. “Your negotiations with protesting farmers have not worked apparently till now,” the court said, adding that the protesting farmer unions should be made party to the case.

The protesting farmers have hardened their stance and have asserted they will “make” the Centre repeal the laws. As leaders of multiple farmer unions leaders sought to ratchet up pressure on the Centre declaring their fight has reached a stage where they are “determined” to win it no matter what, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the Centre is willing to continue its talks with “genuine farm unions” to find a solution with an open mind. In an interview to The Indian Express, Tomar ruled out a repeal of the three farm laws, but said he was open to address their misgivings clause-by-clause, and willing to consider amendments based on their apprehensions.

Live Blog

Farmers protest enters day 21; Farmers rejects government's proposal; SC proposes panel to resolve farmers' issues;  Govt open to talks but not to repeal of laws; Follow Highlights on Dilli Chalo protests

22:16 (IST)16 Dec 2020
Rahul Gandhi condoles death of religious leader near Singhu border

Rahul Gandhi condoles death of religious leader near Singhu border. He also urged the govt to immediately withdraw the new farm laws. 

20:55 (IST)16 Dec 2020
Man kills self near Singhu, ‘suicide note’ says pained by farmers’ plight

A 65-year-old man, identified as a religious leader, killed himself near the Singhu border, where farmers have been protesting for the past 20 days, on Wednesday.

In a purported suicide note, Sant Baba Ram Singh said he was pained by the plight of farmers. “I am unable to bear the plight of the farmers. Tolerating a crime is as bad as causing it. Several people have made sacrifices for their cause,” said the note. More details here.

19:37 (IST)16 Dec 2020
Anti-Indian, feudalistic force behind farmers' stir: Dharmendra Pradhan

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday alleged that an anti-Indian and feudalistic force was behind the ongoing farmers' agitation against the new agricultural laws. According to PTI, Pradhan also said that this force was also against the concepts of 'Bharatiyata' (Indianness) and India's self-reliance.

"There is a force in the country which is basically anti-India and feudalistic. The people associated with this force are also against Indianness and the country's self-reliance. This force is behind the farmers' agitation," Pradhan was quoted as saying by the news agency.

Dharmendra Pradhan blames Odisha govt for Encephalitis deaths | India  News,The Indian Express

18:49 (IST)16 Dec 2020
Opinion | Listen to each farmer

Smriti Walia writes: Theoretically, India has seen a structural transformation from being a predominantly agrarian economy to becoming an industrial power and a service-hub. But intuitively, the transformation has been quite ironic. For, the agricultural sector, that was supposed to strengthen, to hold the other sectors firm, has been reduced to be a residual sector. An activity that produces to literally feed the nation, has remained neglected, given the Indian paradigm of growth. As per the Economic Survey 2019-20, the annual growth (real terms) of the agricultural sector in India has stagnated at an abysmal rate of 2.8 per cent for over a half-decade now. Whereas the significance that agriculture holds for ensuring food on each one’s plate daily is tremendous. Read more here.

18:38 (IST)16 Dec 2020
India has a vibrant heritage of peaceful protests: British Foreign Secy Raab on farmers' protests

A day after announcing that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in January, the visiting British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Wednesday said that he has “discussed” the situation arising out of the farmers’ protests with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and underlined that “your politics” is, in some sense, “our politics” because of the Indian diaspora in Britain.

In an interaction with select Indian journalists in New Delhi after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Raab, however, said that India has a “vibrant heritage of peaceful protests”, the UK “respects it”. Read more here.

dominic raab on farmers protests, jaishankar, britain, dominic raab, india uk talks, brexit, uk brexit talks, india britain, boris johnson, indian express news

17:59 (IST)16 Dec 2020
Ongoing protest an exception, limited to one state: Narendra Tomar

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar Wednesday said that the ongoing farmers' protest at Delhi borders is an "exception" and "limited to one state". He also hoped for an early solution as the government is in talks with farmer unions.

"The ongoing protest is an exception and the agitation is limited to one state. We are holding discussions and talks. I believe there will be an early solution," Tomar was quoted as saying by PTI during a virtual conference organised by industry body Assocham.

17:19 (IST)16 Dec 2020
Central agri laws a step towards doubling farmers' income: Uttarakhand CM

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Wednesday said the new central agriculture laws are in the interest of farmers and a major step towards doubling their income.

Rawat, who was addressing a farmers' conference at the Rishikul ground in Haridwar virtually, claimed that the new laws are based on the Swaminathan commission's report.

"It is a significant step towards doubling the income of farmers, which is a major goal set by the Centre. Farmers have been given access to the open market and are now free to sell their produce wherever they like. A myth is being spread that the new farm laws will put an end to the MSP regime," Rawat was quoted saying by PTI.

16:39 (IST)16 Dec 2020
Tikri, Dhansa borders closed

Tikri, Dhansa Borders are closed for any traffic movement. Jhatikara Borders is open only for two-wheelers and pedestrian movement,  Delhi Traffic Police says.

16:14 (IST)16 Dec 2020
Thank those supporting farm laws: Narendra Tomar in Gwalior

"When attempts are being made to mislead and agitate farmers of Punjab in one corner of the nation, you gathered in Rewa, Sagar, Gwalior, Ujjain and other places to support farm laws by Narendra Modi govt. I thank all of you," Agriculture Minister NS Tomar was quoted as saying by ANI at a Kisan Sammelan in Gwalior.

15:38 (IST)16 Dec 2020
Centre being "stubborn" in face of farmers' agitation: AAP leader Gopal Rai

The Centre should give up its "ego" and "stubbornness" and accept the demands of farmers who are protesting against the new farm laws at Delhi's borders despite the biting cold, the city's Development minister Gopal Rai said on Wednesday.

Rai, also convener of the Delhi unit of the AAP, said the Arvind Kejriwal-led government and his party stand firmly with the farmers and have been making certain arrangements for them during their protest.

After a visit to the Singhu border, blocked by thousands of farmers camping there for nearly three weeks now, Rai said the Kejriwal government has arranged a Langar Sewa (community kitchen), water and toilet facilities for them. (PTI)

15:06 (IST)16 Dec 2020
Those protesting against agri laws are 'middlemen':MP minister

Madhya Pradesh Agriculture Minister Kamal Patel on Wednesday claimed those protesting against the Centre's three new farm laws are "middlemen" and not real farmers.

Talking to PTI, Patel asserted that the new farm rules will give cultivators the real price for their produce and an opportunity to trade, export, and set up food processing units and warehouses.

Till now, middlemen used to buy crops of farmers at very low prices and sell them to end-users at ten times higher rates by grading the purchase as per the quality of crop, he said.

14:37 (IST)16 Dec 2020
Ludhiana farmers enroute Delhi provided free diesel by youngsters

Ludhiana farmers on their way to Delhi being provided with free diesel by the youngsters of Apra and Jajja Khurd

14:24 (IST)16 Dec 2020
Noida to Delhi route via Chilla border closed due to farmers' stir

One side of the Delhi-Noida Link Road was closed for commuters on Wednesday due to the ongoing protest by farmers at the Chilla border here amid heavy police deployment, officials said. Barricades have been set up on the road, prohibiting vehicular movement from Noida to Delhi, while the other side (Delhi to Noida) was open, Noida Traffic Police officials said. Also, traffic was diverted from the Dalit Prerna Sthal, another site of the farmers' protests, to the Delhi-Noida-Direct (DND) flyway in the wake of the situation at the Chilla border, an official said. "The route was closed around 11 am. The DND and the Kalindi Kunj routes are operational and commuters are advised to take these routes for travelling to and fro Delhi," the official said.

13:59 (IST)16 Dec 2020
'Your negotiations have not worked apparently till now': SC tells Centre

In a hearing conducted via video conferencing, the bench directed the petitioners to make protesting farmer unions parties to the pleas and posted the matter for hearing on Thursday. "Your negotiations with protesting farmers have not worked apparently till now," the bench told the Centre. Meanwhile, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that the government will not do anything against the interest of farmers. (PTI)

13:26 (IST)16 Dec 2020
Farmer protest: Security beefed up at Chilla border

Security arrangements were tightened at the Chilla border between Delhi and Noida on Wednesday as farmer union leaders have threatened to completely block the key border point to press for repeal of the Centre's new farm laws. A senior police officer said elaborate security measures are already in place at the Chilla border. Multi-layered barricades, jersey barriers and additional security personnel have been deployed to ensure law and order. He added that only a small group of protesters were on a sit-in at the key border point, and the situation was largely normal. Farmer leaders had on Tuesday said they would "make" the government repeal the new legislations, and asserted that their fight has reached a stage where they are "determined" to win no matter what. The farmer unions are not running away from negotiations, but the government has to pay heed to their demands and come forward with concrete proposals, the leaders said.

13:23 (IST)16 Dec 2020
SC proposes formation of committee to resolve farmers' issues

The Supreme Court today proposed the formation of a committee with representatives from both the government and farm unions to end the deadlock against the three farm laws. A Bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian was hearing a petition seeking removal of the farmers from Delhi borders who have been protesting for 21 days now. The hearing will continue tomorrow. 

13:05 (IST)16 Dec 2020
SC hears plea seeking removal of farmers from borders

Supreme Court begins hearing pleas seeking direction to authorities to immediately remove the farmers who are protesting at several border points of Delhi against the three new farm laws

12:45 (IST)16 Dec 2020
Hoshiarpur farmer dies at Singhu border

Another farmer died on his way to the Singhu border. The farmer, identified as Kulwinder Singh, belonged to the Hoshiarpur district and was on his private vehicle. So far more than 20 protesting farmers have died either at Delhi’s borders or in road accidents since November 26, out of which the majority are from Punjab.

11:41 (IST)16 Dec 2020
Farm unions respond to govt: Reject your proposals, stop maligning our movement

Farmer unions, which are protesting at Delhi’s borders against the recently-enacted farm laws, sent a written reply to the government Wednesday, rejecting its December 9 proposal in which it offered significant concessions.

In an email to Vivek Agrawal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Sanyukt Kisan Morcha leader Darshan Pal said, “With reference to the proposal and letter received from you, we want to inform the government that the farmer unions had held a joint meeting on the same day and discussed your proposal and rejected it because it was the written format of the proposal verbally offered by the government representatives on 5 December 2020.”

An Agriculture Ministry official confirmed to The Indian Express that the government received a written response from the farmer unions. However, he refused to answer queries about whether the government would send an invitation for talks to farmers.

11:31 (IST)16 Dec 2020
At ‘pagdi langar’, a sea of colours — and solidarity

On Tuesday, at Singhu border, men stood in line in front of a tractor to participate in what was being called pagdi langar, with volunteers briskly tying fresh turbans on their heads.

On display in the tractor were turban cloths of all colours — reds, oranges, blues, purples, yellows, greens. Tejinder Singh, who was organising the distribution, said they had material for 1,000 turbans, and that they had tied turbans for around 300 people between 9 am and 1 pm. Among those lined up were not just regular turban wearers getting a fresh turban but those who wish to wear them in solidarity with the protesters.

Farmers at Singhu border during their sit-in protest against the Centre's farm reform laws, in New Delhi. (PTI file photo)

Farmer's protest against the new Farm Bill at Singhu Border, New Delhi, on Monday, December 14, 2020. Express photo by Abhinav Saha

On Day 19 of the protests, leaders of 32 farm unions escalated their agitation by observing a day’s hunger strike beginning 8 am at the Singhu border. The police, meanwhile, put up shipping containers using cranes on NH-44 to firm up the barricades already fortified with dumpsters laden with sand and barbed wire to prevent protesters from entering Delhi.

From the Government’s side, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and are also met Home Minister Amit Shah for the second successive day.

Speaking at a FICCI event, Rajnath Singh said: “The recent reforms have been undertaken with the best interests of India’s farmers in mind… We are, however, always willing to listen to our farmer brothers, allay their misgivings and provide them with assurances. Our Government is always open to discussion and dialogue.”

Describing agriculture as the “mother sector for all”, Singh said, “Our produce and procurement have been plentiful and our warehouses are full…there is no question of taking retrograde steps against our agricultural sector ever,” he said.

Farmers protests, Delhi farmers protests, Farm Laws, govt Farmer talks, Delhi Police, Amit Shah, Narendra Singh Tomar, India news, Indian Express Members of farmer unions on tractor trolley going to Panchkula DC office following a nationwide call given by their unions against the new farm laws on Monday. (Express photo by Jaipal Singh)

Tomar said the Government is “ready to hold talks”. “Whenever their proposal comes, the Government will definitely hold talks,” he said.

In Gandhinagar, Gujarat, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala ruled out bringing the Minimum Support Price under the legal framework, a key demand of farm unions.

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