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Farmers Protest Highlights: Indian democracy doesn’t need foreign certificate, says BJP on global support to farmers

Farmers' Protest Live News Updates: A delegation of Opposition leaders was stopped from reaching the Ghazipur border Thursday morning to meet the farmers who have been protesting against the Centre's contentious new farm laws.

By: Express Web Desk | Chandigarh, New Delhi |
Updated: February 5, 2021 9:17:11 am
Bharatiya Kisan Union Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait addresses farmers during their protest against new farm laws at Ghazipur border, in New Delhi, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. (PTI Photo/Vijay Verma)

Delhi Farmers’ Protest Live Updates: The BJP on Thursday said the support of some foreign celebrities to the farmers protesting against the three new farm laws was an attempt to “destabilise the country” and said that the Indian democracy “doesn’t need foreign certificate”. This comes after teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, pop singer Rihanna and several people from the international community came out in support of the farmers.

Opposition parties on Thursday slammed the government for its handling of the ongoing farmer protests. They accused the government of digging trenches and putting up spikes, where bridges should have been built to win over farmers, PTI reported. TMC leader Derek O’Brien pressed the government to repeal the three laws and offered a ‘Repealing Bill 2021’ drafted by him for the purpose.

A delegation of Opposition leaders was stopped from reaching the Ghazipur border Thursday morning to meet the farmers who have been protesting against the Centre’s contentious new farm laws. The delegation included NCP MP Supriya Sule, DMK MP Kanimozhi, SAD MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, and TMC MP Saugata Roy.

Meanwhile, addressing the backlash sparked by the Centre’s three new farm laws, the US administration under President Joe Biden said that it “encouraged” differences between the parties to be resolved “through dialogue”. However, it said that the United States “welcomed steps that would improve the efficiency of India’s markets and attract greater private sector investment.”

Live Blog

Farmers Protest Highlights: Delegation of opposition leaders reach Ghazipur border protest site; Opposition attacks government over handling of farmer protests

00:22 (IST)05 Feb 2021
Upset with Tendulkar, netizens apologise to Sharapova

Angered by Sachin Tendulkar’s tweet on farmers’ protest, scores of Keralaites flooded tennis star Maria Sharapova’s social media pages with messages, apologising for criticising her in 2015 when she had in an interview pleaded ignorance about the cricket icon.

While most messages were apologetic of their previous comments, a few even invited the Russian to come to God’s Own Country to enjoy its scenic splendour and attend the iconic Thrissur Pooram once the coronavirus threat receded. Read more

23:21 (IST)04 Feb 2021
Govt insensitive; if farmers leave peaceful path it would lead to major crisis in country: Pawar

Calling the Centre "insensitive" over the handling of farmers' protests, NCP President Sharad Pawar on Thursday said if farmers leave peaceful means of agitation it would lead to a major crisis in the country and the BJP government will be responsible for it. Slamming the government for erecting multi-layered barricades, concertina wires with iron nails studded on roads, Pawar said this did not happen even during the British rule.

Pawar, who was Union Agriculture Minister from 2004-2014, accused the government of not willing to solve the farmers' protest issue. "They don't want to solve the problem. I am worried that today, if the farmers, who are peacefully agitating, take some other path, then this would lead to a major crisis. And the BJP government has to take responsibility for this. There are many issues but today those who are in power are not sensitive," he said. PTI

23:07 (IST)04 Feb 2021
What's the problem if foreign celebs support farmer stir; don't know Rihanna, Greta: Rakesh Tikait

"Mujhe kya pata, kara hoga. Main kya unhe jaanun!" farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said on Thursday, when asked about the support from several international celebrities to the protests against the new agri laws.

Talking to the media at Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, Tikait, said:  "Kaun hain ye videshi kalaakar? (Who are these foreign artists)?... Koi videshi agar samarthan kar raha to kya dikkat hai, kuch le-de thodi na raha hai (If some foreigner is supporting the movement, then what is the problem. They are not giving us or taking anything away from us)," he said. PTI

21:44 (IST)04 Feb 2021
Foreigners without full knowledge of farm laws have no right to comment: Thakur

Hitting out at foreign nationals who have extended their support to the ongoing farmers' agitation, Union minister Anurag Singh Thakur on Thursday said that people without full knowledge of the new farm laws have no right to comment on them.

The Minister of State for Finance was responding to statements of some foreign nationals coming in support of the protests by farmers against the new farm laws.

"We had discussions with farmers' organisations. We had 11 rounds of discussions. We are still open to discussions but it cannot be hijacked by international organisations and individuals to harm the interest of India. People who don't have any idea about what these farm laws are and how these are going to benefit the farmers, they have no right to comment without the full knowledge. No one should take political gain out of this," he told PTI in an interview.

21:01 (IST)04 Feb 2021
Indian democracy doesn't need foreign certificate: BJP on global celebrities' support to farmer protest

The ruling BJP on Thursday dubbed the support of some foreign celebrities to the protesting farmers as an attempt to destabilise the country and said that the Indian democracy doesn't need foreign certificate.

Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters, party spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said it is democratic to protest but it is wrong for foreigners to interfere in India's internal affairs. "India's democracy does not need any foreign certificate. If they (international personalities) try to weaken the country, we will not tolerate it. The country is standing united against these foreign powers and has the mettle to not let them succeed in their purpose," he said.

He also asked Opposition parties especially the Congress to introspect and understand that they will only exist if India remains strong.

Echoing similar sentiments, BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya said this is not defiance; this is persisting with an agenda of which Thunberg is a part. "They have no stand to interfere on a legislation passed by the Indian Parliament. This is a larger design meant to destabilise India," he said. (PTI)

20:35 (IST)04 Feb 2021
Cold night, morning drizzle no deterrence to farmers' stir at Ghazipur

Going firm on their demand for repeal of the new agri laws, hundreds of farmers spent another night in the cold and withstood an early morning drizzle on Thursday on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border at their heavily-secured protest site at Ghazipur. (Express photos by Amit Mehra)

20:19 (IST)04 Feb 2021
MP minister holds fast to bring 'good sense' among agitating farmers

Madhya Pradesh Agriculture Minister Kamal Patel on Thursday observed a one-day fast here so that "good sense prevails" among the farmers protesting against the Centre's new agriculture laws.

Patel observed the fast on the banks of river Narmada at Handia in Harda district along with a large number of people between 11 am and 5 pm.

Talking to reporters, the minister said, "The three new farm laws are in the interest of farmers and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has implemented them with the aim of changing the cultivators' fate as these legislations will double their income by the year 2022."

"Congress and other parties are misleading the farmers as they are not interested in the cultivators' income to be raised," he said. (PTI)

19:40 (IST)04 Feb 2021
Govt shouldn't question patriotism of farmers, they made country Aatmanirbhar: Deepinder Hooda

The government should not question the patriotism of farmers as they are the ones who have made the country self-sufficient in food, Congress Rajya Sabha member Deepinder Singh Hooda said on Thursday.

Participating in the debate on a motion thanking the President for his address to the joint sitting of Parliament at the start of the Budget Session, he also said that the government should show a big heart and accept the demands of the farmers by repealing the three new farm laws.

Attacking the Centre, Hooda said, "You talk about making (the country) self-sufficient. Let me warn you that a self-obsessed government cannot make an Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-sufficient India)." 

"The government has no right to question the patriotism of farmers as they have made the country self-sufficient in food and are feeding the 135 crore people of India. They have been doing so since Independence," he said. (PTI)

18:55 (IST)04 Feb 2021
Cold night, morning drizzle no deterrence to farmers' stir at Ghazipur

Going firm on their demand for repeal of the new agri laws, hundreds of farmers spent another night in the cold and withstood an early morning drizzle on Thursday on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border at their heavily-secured protest site at Ghazipur. 

Several of the farmers camped in temporary tarpaulin-roofed shelters that have come up on a stretch of the Delhi-Meerut highway, while many had their tractor-trailers double up as their resting place, and scores stretched out on mattresses put on the key road that until November had thousands of vehicles pass through it daily.

Police and paramilitary forces that were deployed in large numbers here in the wake of the January 26 violence remained on the ground, while multi-layered barricades, concertina wires remained in place along with iron nails studded on roads to prevent any movement towards Delhi.

"The way they are taking the nails off, they will repeal the laws also," a man from a group of protestor at the Uttar Pradesh Gate (Ghazipur) told a television news channel. (PTI)

18:25 (IST)04 Feb 2021
Cong leaders shedding crocodile tears on farmers' plight: UP minister

On a day Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi visited Rampur to condole the death of a youth killed during farmers' tractor rally on Republic Day in Delhi, UP Minister Mohsin Raza accused the party leaders of shedding crocodile tears on farmers' plight.

"The Congress made farmers only debt-ridden in past 60 years. It always does politics taking the support of others," Raza said while addressing a program here at Navoday Vidyalaya. "Priyanka and Rahul too are doing politics," he added.

Referring to Priyanka Gandhi's Rampur visit, the minister said, "The Congress is talking about farmers and going to shed crocodile tears (in Rampur)."

"What did the Congress do for farmers in 60 years?" the minister asked, alleging that "they only imposed debts on farmers, exploited them and got their lands purchased by their family members and made them commit suicides," said Raza. (PTI)

18:09 (IST)04 Feb 2021
Intrigued by foreign celebrities making statements about India's internal happenings: Hema Malini

Veteran actor and BJP MP Hema Malini on Thursday said she was intrigued by foreign celebrities' support to ongoing farmers' protests when India was just a name "they have heard".

"I'm intrigued by foreign celebrities to whom our glorious country, India, is just a name they have heard, boldly making statements about our internal happenings and policies!" Malini tweeted. 

"Wonder what they are trying to achieve, and more imptly (importantly), who are they trying to please?" she added in reference to American pop star Rihanna's tweet on Tuesday. (PTI)

17:19 (IST)04 Feb 2021
Govt should not brand farmer protest 'political conspiracy': Priyanka

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday met family members of a man who died during the January 26 protests in Delhi and said the government should repeal the new agri laws, instead of branding farmers "terrorists" and their agitation a "political conspiracy".

"If there is any bigger wrong other than the three farm laws, which the government should take back but is not doing so, it is that martyrs are branded as terrorists and the farmers' agitation is seen as a political conspiracy," the Congress general secretary said. "Names are given to those who raise their voice. But it is never said come and tell us about the pain in your heart as you are our countrymen," she added.

"This is not the moment for political talk but we cannot tolerate such 'julm'. The fact is that this is not a political agitation but an actual agitation of farmers and every countryman," Priyanka Gandhi said.

"I have come here to tell this family that you are not alone. Every single countryman is with you, be it of any religion, and farmers of every corner of the country are with you and we are with you," she said. (PTI)

16:31 (IST)04 Feb 2021
Delhi Police file FIR based on Greta Thunberg’s tweet on farmers’ protest

The Cyber Cell of Delhi Police Thursday registered an FIR based on a tweet by child environmental activist Greta Thunberg where she had supported the ongoing farmers’ agitation in India.

“We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India,” the teen activist had tweeted.

A host of other international celebrities, including pop singer Rihanna, have also tweeted in support of Indian farmers.

16:25 (IST)04 Feb 2021
TMC's Derek O'Brien offers draft 'Repealing Bill 2021'

TMC MP Derek O'Brien says there should be 'proper inquiry' into death of farmer during tractor parade in Delhi on Republic Day so that the truth can come out. He also pressed the government to repeal the three farm laws, offers 'Repealing Bill 2021' drafted by him for the purpose. (PTI)

15:31 (IST)04 Feb 2021
Tweets on farmers' stir a conspiracy to defame India: Fadnavis

Taking a view of tweets by some prominent international celebrities and activists in support of the farmers' protests, BJP Leader Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday claimed there was an international consipracy to defame India and create chaos and unrest in the country.

Talking to reporters in Nagpur, the former Maharashtra chief minister said some external forces do not want any stability in the country and this been now exposed through these tweets.

"How an international conspiracy is going on has been revealed with the tweets. India is being defamed using the platform of farmers' protest," Fadnavis said.

It has now come to fore how schemes are being made to create chaos and unrest in the country, he said. (PTI)

14:37 (IST)04 Feb 2021
Iron nails fixed on roads at Ghazipur border being ‘repositioned’, says Delhi Police

Iron nails studded on roads at Ghazipur border to restrict the movement of farmers agitating against the new agri laws are being “repositioned”, a senior police officer said on Thursday.

The statement comes after videos and photos of workers removing the nails near Ghazipur border surfaced on social media.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Deepak Yadav asserted that the security arrangements at the border will remain the same. Read the PTI report here. 

14:29 (IST)04 Feb 2021
'Forced to stop 3 km away from border, but we are undeterred,' says SAD leader Harsimrat

Condemning the BJP-led government for its alleged "highhandedness even against MPs", SAD MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that she was undeterred despite being stopped on her way to the protest site at Ghazipur border and was determined to meet the protesting farmers. 

"See the high handedness of the BJP led GOI even against the MPs! We were forced to alight 3 km from the peaceful protest site. But we are undeterred. We are determined to see the conditions first hand and force the govt into action," she said. 


14:14 (IST)04 Feb 2021
Priyanka Gandhi meets family of UP farmer who died in R-Day violence

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Thursday visited Rampur in UP to meet the family of the farmer who was killed during the violence that broke out in the National Capital on Republic Day. 

Earlier today, at least two vehicles in Gandhi's cavalcade collided at Hapur bypass. However, no injuries were reported. 

12:56 (IST)04 Feb 2021
Anil Vij appeals to farm leaders to call off chakka jam, come forward for dialogue

Haryana Home and Health Minister Anil Vij Thursday appealed to farm leaders to call off the ‘chakka jam’ planned for Saturday, and “come forward for dialogue”.

Speaking to the media in Gurgaon on Thursday morning, Vij said, “Even the big issues of the world, international issues also, are solved through dialogue, and our government is always ready…even the Prime Minister has said that the roads for dialogue are always open, so they should come forward for dialogue.” Read the report here. 

12:39 (IST)04 Feb 2021
Opposition attacks government over handling of farmer protests

Opposition parties on Thursday tore into the government's handling of the farmer protest against three contentious farm reform laws, saying ministers believe in monologue and trenches have been dug, barbed wires put up and spikes installed when bridges should have been built to win over farmers.

Opening the second day of discussion on a motion thanking the President for his address to the joint sitting of Parliament at the start of the Budget Session, Manoj Kumar Jha of the RJD said the government has lost the patience to hear and any criticism is painted as anti-national.

'With folded hands, I request you to please understand the pain of farmers. In harsh winter you stopped water supply and toilet facilities, dug trenches, put barbed wires, and installed spikes,' he said. 'Such aggressive approach wasn't even heard of towards the neighbouring nations who came inside (the Indian territory).' (PTI)

SAD MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal at Ghazipur border. (Amit Mehra)

Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait addressed a farmers' mahapanchayat called by Kandela khap at Haryana's Jind district on Wednesday and asked the people to stand united and support the farmers' cause. Huge numbers of people in tractors, trolleys, and their personal vehicles are reaching the venue with the organisers claiming there would be more than 50,000 in attendance.

The farmers' protest received international support as teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, pop singer Rihana, and US Vice President Kamala Harris' niece come out in support against the Centre's new agriculture laws. Reacting to this, the Ministry of External Affairs Wednesday said it was “unfortunate to see vested interest groups trying to enforce their agenda on these protests, and derail them.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) said that there could be no “formal” talks with the government until the multiple layers of barricading put up at the borders by the Delhi Police and the curtailment of internet services is lifted. Tikait said the police barricading could not stop the farmers and they were ready to continue their protests till October-November.

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