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Farmers’ Protest Live Updates: ‘We are engaging with farmers to decide on next date of talks,’ says Narendra Tomar

Farmers' Protest Today Live News Updates: As the stir at Delhi borders protesting against the Centre's contentious agriculture laws entered Day 19, the heads of 32 farmer unions started a hunger strike from 8 am today as part of their plan to intensify their agitation from December 14.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 14, 2020 7:38:02 pm
Protest outside Deputy Commissioner's office in Ludhiana. (Express photo: Gurmeet Singh)

Farmers’ Protest Live Updates: As farmers intensified their agitation against the Centre’s three farm laws and observed a day-long fast on Monday, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar Monday said that the government is engaging with farmer leaders to decide on the next date of talks.

“The meeting will definitely happen. We are engaging with farmers,” Tomar told PTI. The government is ready for discussion anytime. The farmer leaders have to “decide and convey” when they are ready for the next meeting, he added.

Meanwhile, Farmers raised slogans outside the offices of district commissioners and took out protest marches in Punjab and Haryana on Monday, following a nationwide call given by their unions against the new central laws.

In Punjab, protests were held in several districts including Ludhiana, Patiala, Sangrur, Barnala, Bathinda, Moga, Faridkot, Ferozepur and Tarn Taran, news agency PTI reported. In Haryana, protests were reported from Fatehabad, Jind, Sirsa, Kurukshetra, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Bhiwani, Kaithal and Ambala.

As the stir at Delhi borders protesting against the Centre’s contentious agriculture laws entered Day 19, the heads of 32 farmer unions started a hunger strike from 8 am today as part of their plan to intensify their agitation from December 14. However, leaders of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), who had organised an event to demand the release of jailed activists last week, have decided to distance themselves from the strike call. Sukhdev Singh, Punjab general secretary of BKU Ekta Ugrahan, said that Ugrahan leaders will not observe fast. “We will not participate (in one-day hunger strike),” Sukhdev told PTI.

Live Blog

Farmers' protest live updates: Farmers stir enters 19th day; Farmer leaders on 9-hour hunger strike today; Follow latest updates here.

19:38 (IST)14 Dec 2020
INLD to boycott municipal poll in support of farmers: Abhay Chautala

Amid the ongoing farmers' agitation against the three new Central farm laws, the Indian National Lok Dal Monday announced it will "boycott" the upcoming municipal polls in Haryana in protest against the "atrocities" being allegedly committed on farmers by the Centre and the state's BJP-JJP governments, PTI reported.

Elections to the municipal bodies in Haryana are scheduled to be held on December 27.

18:11 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Farm laws are 'anti-farmer', will lead to immense inflation: Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Monday said the new farm laws will lead to immense inflation and will only favour a few capitalists, as he termed the legislations "anti-farmer and anti-common man".

Kejriwal, who joined AAP leaders, MLAs and volunteers at the party office in observing a day-long fast in support of the protesting farmers, said the new farm laws "gives license to inflate".

"I appeal to parties to stop playing dirty politics over farmers' issue. These laws are anti-farmer and anti-aam aadmi and are aimed to benefit a few capitalists. These laws will lead to immense inflation through hoarding. These legislations gives license to inflate," Kejriwal was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

(PTI)
17:16 (IST)14 Dec 2020
BJP to organise meetings of farmers in MP

The BJP will organise meetings of farmers in various divisions of Madhya Pradesh from Tuesday to dispel "misconceptions" being spread about the Centre's three new farm laws, state Agriculture Minister Kamal Patel said.

"We are going to organise meets of farmers of Bhopal and Ujjain divisions on Tuesday," Patel told reporters in Ujjain on Monday.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state BJP chief V D Sharma are going to address these gatherings to dispel the misunderstanding and "misconceptions being spread over the laws by the opposition", he said. (PTI)

16:17 (IST)14 Dec 2020
We are engaging with farmers to decide on next date of talks: Narendra Tomar

As farmers intensified their agitation against the Centre's three farm laws and observed a day-long fast on Monday, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar Monday said that the government is engaging with farmer leaders to decide on the next date of talks.

"The meeting will definitely happen. We are engaging with farmers," Tomar told PTI. The government is ready for discussion anytime. The farmer leaders have to "decide and convey" when they are ready for the next meeting, he added.

Every sector could decide cost, buyer; farmers couldn't. New laws will give  freedom to trade: Narendra Singh Tomar | India News,The Indian Express

15:57 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Farmers stage sit-in outside district headquarters in Punjab, Haryana

Farmers raised slogans outside the offices of district commissioners and took out protest marches in Punjab and Haryana on Monday, following a nationwide call given by their unions against the new central laws.

In Punjab, protests were held in several districts including Ludhiana, Patiala, Sangrur, Barnala, Bathinda, Moga, Faridkot, Ferozepur and Tarn Taran, news agency PTI reported. In Haryana, protests were reported from Fatehabad, Jind, Sirsa, Kurukshetra, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Bhiwani, Kaithal and Ambala.

15:20 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Those calling protesting farmers anti-nationals should go to Pakistan: Raghav Chadha

AAP leader and spokesperson Raghav Chadha Monday said that whoever is calling the farmers protesting against the new agriculture-marketing laws as "anti-nationals" are themselves against the country, and they should go to Pakistan.

The AAP MLA said there are some people referring to the agitating farmers, who are the country's food-providers, as "anti-nationals".

"I want to tell those people calling the farmers as anti-national that you are the ones who are anti-nationals and you should go to Pakistan. They have no place in India," Chadha was quoted as saying by PTI.

Reacting to Chadha's comments, Delhi BJP spokesperson Virender Babbar said everybody supports farmers, including the BJP.

15:08 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Delhi Assembly speaker observes fast in solidarity with farmers

Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel on Monday observed fast in support of farmers protesting against three new farm laws.

"Sitting on one day fast in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue at Vidhan Sabha, in support of farmers one day fast today," Goel said in a tweet.

14:48 (IST)14 Dec 2020
SP workers stage protest in UP in support of protesting farmers

Extending support to the one-day fast called by farmers protesting against new farm laws, Samajwadi Party workers staged protests in different districts of the state, and were taken into custody by the police.

Farmer leaders are holding a day-long hunger strike against the farm laws at Delhi border points. (PTI)


13:26 (IST)14 Dec 2020
No question of taking retrograde steps against agricultural sector, says Rajnath Singh

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said there is no question of taking any retrograde steps against the agricultural sector. Speaking at FICCI's 93rd annual general meeting, Rajnath stated that the farm sector was the one sector that was able to avoid the adverse effects of pandemic. "Our produce and procurement have been plentiful and our warehouses are full," he said.

13:25 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Farmers sit on dharna outside the Deputy Commissioner office in Ludhiana

Farmers sit on dharna outside the Deputy Commissioner office in Ludhiana. (Express photo by Gurmeet Singh)

12:35 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Farmers protesting at Ghazipur (Delhi-UP) border blocked National Highway-24 earlier today

Delhi: Farmers protesting at Ghazipur (Delhi-UP) border blocked National Highway-24 earlier today.

11:31 (IST)14 Dec 2020
'Nothing but hypocrisy': Javadekar targets Kejriwal over his fast

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar targetted Arvind Kejriwal over his fast today.  Calling him a "hypocrite", Javadekar reminded him that the Delhi givernment had notified one of the farm laws in November, and now the CM is on fast. "Arvind Kejriwal, this is your hypocrisy. You promised amendment to APMC Act in Punjab assembly elections. You notified one farm law in Delhi in November 2020 and you are on fast today. Nothing but hypocrisy."

10:47 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Farmers' stir: BKU Ekta Ugrahan leader says they won't observe fast as decided by other unions

Leaders of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), who had organised an event to demand the release of jailed activists last week, have decided to distance themselves from the one-day hunger strike call given by 32 farmer unions from Punjab on Monday. Sukhdev Singh, Punjab general secretary of BKU Ekta Ugrahan, said that Ugrahan leaders will not observe fast. "We will not participate (in one-day hunger strike)," Sukhdev told PTI. Farmer unions, most of them from Punjab, have started their hunger strike against the Centre's new farm laws. Also, they have given a call to stage dharnas at district headquarters across the country. --PTI

10:44 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Kejriwal urges people to join hunger strike

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is also observing the hunger strike, urged people to join the cause. Taking to Twitter, he said, "Fasting is good for health. Please fast to support our farmer brothers irrespective of wherever you are located. Pray for the success of their movement. They'll definitely emerge victorious in the end."

10:22 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Arvind Kejriwal accuses Amarinder Singh of "selling" farmers' movement

Delhi Arvind Kejriwal on Monday accused Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh of trading off farmers' protest to save his son from an ED case. Taking to Twitter, he said: "Captain ji, I have been standing with the farmers from the very begining. Did not let Delhi's Stadium to be used as jail for the farmers, fought with the Centre... You did a setting with the Centre to get your son freed from the ED case, sold the farmers' movement? Why?"

10:10 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Night at the farmers' protest: Pehredars keep vigil, langars give relief

A little after 7 pm, a thick fog creeps in and the air becomes colder. Near the main stage, volunteers begin to roll up carpets, remove halogen lights, and stack up chairs. The farmers, many wrapped in thick shawls, begin a slow walk towards their tractor trolleys. The day has come to an end at Delhi’s Singhu border. And the night has come to life — from buzzing langars serving food till midnight to groups guarding the tractor trolleys till the first round of tea is served around 6 am.

Singhu, in Delhi’s north, marks the capital’s border with Sonepat in Haryana. And over the past 17 days, this is one of the three key border points that have become the epicentre of the farmers’ protests against the Centre’s new agriculture laws. Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, have set up camp here with parked trucks and trolleys extending up to 10 km on the GT Highway. Read full story by Ami Bhatnagar here

09:44 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Purchases below MSP should be declared illegal; bar pvt players from doing so: SJM

Amid an ongoing protest against the recent farm laws, RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) suggested a few amendments in the legislations on Sunday to overcome drawbacks and asserted that the government's intent in bringing the laws was good. The minimum support price (MSP) should be guaranteed to farmers and purchases below the MSP should be declared illegal, according to a resolution passed by the SJM. Not only the government, private parties should also be barred from buying at a rate below the MSP, it said. --PTI

09:30 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Ugrahan rights rally hurt cause, admit 32 groups, underline repeal demand

With union ministers attributing ideological opposition to the farm protests and equating some of them with "Left and Naxal elements," as many as 32 farmer unions passed a resolution Saturday making it clear that their only issue is the repeal of farm laws and nothing else.

Carefully calibrating their distancing from the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), the joint resolution said: “The function organised by BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) has no relation with the farmers' struggle. Their action has harmed the farmers’ struggle.” BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) and the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) are not part of this group of 32.

The BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) had on December 10 — to mark Human Rights Day — waved posters of activists including Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves and Varavara Rao, and demanded their release from jail.

08:59 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Farmer leaders on hunger strike today

As the stir at Delhi borders protesting against the Centre's contentious agriculture laws entered Day 19, the heads of all farmer unions started a hunger strike from 8 am today as part of their plan to intensify their agitation from December 14.  Addressing a press conference at the Singhu border on Sunday, where the farmers have been camping since November 26, farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni said the leaders will observe the hunger strike at their respective places. "Also dharnas will be staged at all district headquarters across the country. The protest will go on as usual," he told PTI.

07:57 (IST)14 Dec 2020
Bhupesh Baghel: There isn’t any uniformity in mandis across states, then how can you have one Act for the entire country?

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said, "I have been hearing what the BJP leaders and ministers are saying. Of the 22 points (raised by farmers), they are only talking about two... If you look at the NDA government’s tenure... They implemented demonetisation, 125 people lost their lives. Then the Goods and Services Tax was imposed, and so many people went bankrupt and some took their own lives. This year, during the lockdown, crores of people came out on the streets. So this is the difference between policies of the NDA and the UPA governments. We formulate and implement policies based on experience and after examining things in detail." He wondered when there isn’t any uniformity in mandis across states, how can one have one Act for the entire country? Bhupesh Baghel was at Idea Exchange with Indian Express. Read the excerpts here

Addressing a press conference at the Singhu border on Sunday, where the farmers have been camping since November 26, farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni said the leaders will observe the hunger strike at their respective places. "Also dharnas will be staged at all district headquarters across the country. The protest will go on as usual," he told PTI.

On Sunday, Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Som Parkash met Home Minister Amit Shah amid farmers' protests against the Centre's three agriculture laws, news agency PTI reported. The ministers were accompanied by BJP leaders from Punjab. Tomar and Parkash, along with their ministerial colleague Piyush Goyal, had led the government's negotiations with the protesting farmers.

Farmers from Rajasthan and some other places gathered in large numbers on the Haryana-Rajasthan border near Rewari on Sunday for their march towards Delhi and sat in protest on side of the Delhi-Jaipur national highway as the Haryana police put up barricades to stop them. The farmers were sitting in protest at Jaisinghpur Kheda area in Rewari along Rajasthan-Haryana border (NH-48). Gurgaon is over 70 km from the site while Delhi is nearly 80 km away. Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav, who was at the site, said since the barricades have been put, the farmers had no option but to stage a sit-in.

Meanwhile, freight carrier firms as well as factory owners from Tikri-Bahadurgarh say the ongoing farmers’ stir has had a significant impact on business. Owing to traffic jams, freight carriers or trucks transporting goods via Delhi-NCR to other states have been taking alternative routes, leading to delays.

Many transporters have stopped operations in the area altogether. Umesh Pandey (50), general manager of Vijay Lakshmi Transolutions Pvt Ltd, said, “We have stopped operations in the Punjab-Haryana side where routes are blocked, and are transporting only emergency goods (food and pharmaceuticals), for which we take alternative routes.”

Industrialists in the Tikri-Bahadurgarh region, where farmers are protesting on the Delhi-Rohtak road, say they are facing losses as neither raw material or finished goods are getting transported in and out of the area.

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