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Farmers’ Protest HIGHLIGHTS: Ninth round of govt-farmer talks concludes, next meeting on Jan 19

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Railways, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash, who is an MP from Punjab, held talks with the representatives of around 40 farmer unions for over four hours.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 19, 2021 10:45:54 am
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The ninth round of talks between the central government and farmer unions over the farm laws again failed to break the deadlock as the two sides could not reach common ground on the issues of repeal of the laws and the MSP Act. The next meeting will take place on January 19 at 12 pm.

This was the first meeting after the Supreme Court appointed a committee to resolve the deadlock over farm laws. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Railways, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash, who is an MP from Punjab, held talks with the representatives of around 40 farmer unions for over four hours. Tomar had on Thursday confirmed the talks saying it will be done with ‘an open mind’.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Friday asked the people to join the “Satyagraha” by farmers against the Modi government. The Congress is observing the day as Kisan Adhikar Divas and will take out protest marches in all state capitals. Gandhi, who was in Delhi, said the three farm laws have been brought to “finish the farmers”. “If we don’t stop this now, it will continue to happen in other sectors too. Narendra Modi does not respect the farmers. The farmers will neither deter nor fear,” ANI quoted him as saying.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu and party workers were detained while trying to march towards Raj Bhavan in Lucknow during a protest against the new farm laws.

Live Blog

Ninth round of talks conclude, Tomar says it will be done with an "open mind"; Bhupinder Singh Mann recuses himself from SC committee; Rahul Gandhi asks people to join 'Satyagraha'.

20:27 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Congress' protest on farm law 'political hypocrisy': Rajasthan BJP chief

Rajasthan BJP chief Satish Poonia on Friday said the Congress is shrinking across the country and using the state to save its credibility. His comments were in reaction to a sit-in staged by Congress workers here against recent farm laws of the Centre and the rising fuel prices.

Describing it as "political hypocrisy", Poonia said the frustration of power slipping out of the Congress's hand is visible on the faces of its leaders, adding that "they should get used to sit in the opposition".

The BJP leader also said the Congress has no moral right to talk about farmers as it did no good to them even after being in power in the country for 50 years. (PTI)

19:34 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Rahul Gandhi: PM doesn’t respect farmers, wants to tire out those protesting against farm laws

Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not respect farmers and wants to tire out those protesting against the Centre’s new agri laws, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged on Friday. He also said that the talks that are being held with the protesting farmer leaders are part of the government’s delaying tactics.

Farmers will not relent till the laws are repealed, said Rahul Gandhi at Jantar Mantar, where he along with Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra joined party MPs in their demonstration against the legislations.

“The talks are being held only to delay. PM Modi thinks he has the power and will tire the farmers out, but he is mistaken,” Rahul Gandhi told reporters.

“Narendra Modi does not have basic respect for farmers. He does not even care if over 100 farmers die. He thinks he has the power and the protesting farmers will tire out after some days, but they will not relent,” he said.

18:53 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Rajasthan Cong stages dharna against farm laws, hike in fuel prices

The Congress staged a protest in Jaipur against the new farm laws and hike in fuel prices as part of a nationwide call, with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot asserting that the party will fight until the Centre repeals the legislations.

Congress workers and leaders, led by state unit president Govind Singh Dotasra, staged the dharna in the Civil Lines area and tried to march to the Raj Bhavan but were stopped by the police.

Gehlot, who did not take part in the dharna, said that his Congress party stands in solidarity with the farmers in their protest against the farm laws. "Observance of Kisan Adhikar Diwas today by the Congress party is to stand in solidarity with protesting farmers who are opposing black farm laws. The Congress is with farmers at every step in this struggle and we will fight until the laws are taken back by the NDA govt," Gehlot said in a tweet. (PTI)

17:48 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Govt hopeful of resolving deadlock with farmers in next meeting, says Tomar

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar after meeting with farmers: We are fully committed to the Supreme Court's order and welcome their judgment. The government will present its side before the court-appointed panel when invited."

He also said the government was hopeful of discussions with farmers reaching some decisive stage at the 10th round of talks on January 19. Tomar said that he has no problem with the fact that the unions want to continue dialogue with only the government, but also said the SC-appointed panel will also continue its work.

On Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's remarks earlier today, Tomar said his statements are laughed at within his own party and that the Congress itself promised these agricultural reforms in their manifesto.

17:32 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Won't go to SC-appointed committee, talks with govt to continue: Tikait

Rakesh Tikait, BKU spokesperson: "Our demands of repealing of the three farm laws & MSP guarantee remain. We will not go to the Committee constituted by the Supreme Court. We'll talk to Central Government only. (ANI)

17:30 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Talks with farmers not decisive, next talks on Jan 19: Tomar

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar: "Today's talks with farmers unions were not decisive. We will hold talks again on 19th January. We are positive to reach a solution through talks. The government is concerned about the farmers protesting in cold conditions." (ANI)

17:19 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Ninth round of govt-farmer meeting concludes

The ninth round of talks between government, farmer unions ends; Next meeting on January 19 at 12 pm.

16:32 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Hooda, several other Haryana Cong leaders detained during march to Raj Bhawan

Several Haryana Congress leaders, including former Chief Minister Bhupinder Sing Hooda, marched towards the Raj Bhawan on Friday to protest against the Centre's farm laws and hike in fuel prices, but were detained by the police.

Police put up barricades to stop the protesters from moving towards the Raj Bhawan.

When Hooda and other party leaders tried to march towards the Haryana Raj Bhawan, they were detained by the police and taken to the Sector-17 police station in a bus. Talking to the media, Hooda said that they would force the BJP-led central government to repeal the farm laws. (PTI)

15:54 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Government welcomes SC order regarding farmers' agitation: Tomar

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar: "Government welcomes the Supreme Court order regarding the farmers' agitation. The government will put forth its views before the committee (appointed by the court). We are trying to resolve the issue through dialogue."

"The ongoing meeting discussing three agricultural laws between the government and farmers did not come to a resolution before the lunch break. The MSP Guarantee Act will be discussed after the break."

(ANI)

15:51 (IST)15 Jan 2021
UP Congress president detained in Lucknow

Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu and party workers were detained while trying to march towards Raj Bhavan in Lucknow during a protest against the new farm laws. (PTI)

15:43 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Chandigarh: Police uses water canons on Congress workers

Chandigarh police uses water cannon on Congress workers who were marching towards Punjab Raj Bhawan to protest against the new farm laws. The workers were later detained.

14:42 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Farmer leaders break for lunch at Vigyan Bhavan

Farmer leaders break for lunch during the meeting with the government at Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi.

14:39 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Narendra Modi does not respect the farmers: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is in Delhi, said the three farm laws have been brought to "finish the farmers". "If we don't stop this now, it will continue to happen in other sectors too. Narendra Modi does not respect the farmers. The farmers will neither deter nor fear," ANI quoted him as saying.

14:25 (IST)15 Jan 2021
To sustain agitation at Delhi border, Haryana farmers devise donation formula: Rs 100/acre
The protesting farmers at Singhu border. (AP photo)

To sustain the farmers’ agitation in the coming days, farmers from Haryana villages have started donating Rs 100 per acre to local leaders to manage the transportation and food items. In some villages, farmers offer Rs 200 to Rs 500 per acre while some even contribute in thousands for the stir. The collection is growing fast with a sentiment gaining ground that the ongoing farm agitation is meant to protect the lands of farmers from corporates.

“I have deposited Rs 85,000 for the agitation as part of our donation for 160 families of our clan who have 850 acres in the village,” farmer Pradeep Sihag told The Indian Express. Sihag is from Sisai village of Hisar district, which is the biggest village of Haryana in terms of population and size. Sihag estimates the village has a population of over 35,000 while farmers here have around 15,000 acres of land. Read More

14:24 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Record govt purchases of cotton, paddy from Punjab
Punjab’s Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) yards have been receiving paddy (non-Basmati) in bulk from other states to sell here.(Representational Image)

Rajvir Singh Golta sold 52 quintals of narma/kapas (raw un-ginned cotton) over three pickings from his five-acre land in Jhumba village of Punjab’s Bathinda district. He got the full minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 5,665 per quintal for his medium-long staple fibre crop that was procured by the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) between early-October and mid-December.

The 42-year-old is pleased that the CCI entered the market on time at the season’s start when narma rates were Rs 4,600-4,800/quintal. That’s a view also echoed by Nirmal Singh Tiwana, a farmer from the same village who sold 21 quintals of the crop, grown on two out of his four-acre holding, to the CCI at the Centre’s MSP.

And it is not just cotton. Government agencies have procured an all-time high 202.78 lakh tonnes of paddy from Punjab at the MSP of Rs 1,988/quintal for 2020-21. Read More here

14:22 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Rahul, Priyanka meet party MPs protesting against Farm laws

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra meet party MPs who are protesting against the three farm laws at Jantar Mantar.

13:52 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Congress will not relent till Farm laws are repealed: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi further says, "BJP govt will have to withdraw farm laws; Congress will not relent till these laws are repealed."

Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra along with party workers head towards Raj Niwas, Civil Lines for gherao in protest against the three Farm laws.

13:36 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Farm laws are not to help farmers, but to finish them: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, while leading protest outside Delhi Raj Bhawan, said, "Farm laws are not to help farmers, but to finish them."

13:16 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Chandigarh Congress on way to gehrao Punjab Raj Bhawan as part of protests against farm laws

Meanwhile, Chandigarh Congress members are on the way to gehrao the Punjab Raj Bhawan during protests against the farm laws.

13:08 (IST)15 Jan 2021
Narendra Tomar, Piyush Goyal and Som Prakash are holding talks with 40 farmer unions

The ninth round of talks between protesting farmer unions and three central ministers got underway on Friday afternoon to break the over-a-month-long deadlock on the three new agri laws. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Railways, Commerce and Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash, who is an MP from Punjab, are holding the talks with the representatives of around 40 farmer unions at the Vigyan Bhawan here. Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, are protesting at various border points of Delhi for over a month now against the three laws.

On Thursday, two days after the Supreme Court named him as one of the four members of an expert committee, tasked to listen to grievances of farmers opposed to the new agriculture laws and the views of the government, Bhupinder Singh Mann, president of BKU (Mann) and chairman of All India Kisan Coordination Committee recused himself from the court-appointed panel and said “I will always stand with my farmers and Punjab”.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at the border of Delhi for several weeks, demanding the repeal of the laws they say will lead to the weakening of the minimum support price (MSP) system.

The three contentious laws are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020.

The apex court had on Tuesday stayed the implementation of the three central laws till further orders and announced the formation of a committee to hear the grievances of the farmers and the opinion of the government.

Apart from Mann, Shetkari Sanghatana (Maharashtra) president Anil Ghanwat, International Food Policy Research Institute’s Pramod Kumar Joshi and agriculture economist Ashok Gulati were appointed on the panel.

After the last meeting, Tomar had said: “The discussions today were related to the three laws, but no decision could be reached. The government repeatedly requested the unions to suggest an alternative other than the repeal, and the government would consider it. But even after a long discussion, no alternative was presented. Therefore, the discussion was adjourned today.”

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