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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Farmers’ Protest Highlights: Govt proposes to suspend farm laws for 18 months

Farmers' Protest Live News Updates: "Govt has said it is ready to suspend the laws for one and half a year. In reply, farmers said that there is no point in suspending the laws and made it clear that we want the repeal of the laws," a farmer leader said after the meeting.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 2, 2021 3:36:15 pm
New Delhi: Farmers leaders during the 10th round of talks with the central government on new farm laws, at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021. (PTI)

Centre on Wednesday proposed to suspend the three contentious farm laws for one and half years and set up a joint committee to discuss the Acts to end the stalemate, but farmer leaders did not immediately accept the proposal and said they will revert after their internal consultations. The next round of meeting has been scheduled for January 22.

“During discussions, we said that govt is ready to put on hold the farm laws for one or one and half year. I’m happy that farmer unions have taken this very seriously and said that they would consider it tomorrow and convey their decision on January 22,” Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said after the meeting.

During the meeting, farmer leaders also raised the issue of NIA notices being served to some farmers, alleging it was being done just to harass those supporting the agitation, to which the government representatives said they will look into the matter.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Wednesday said it was “inappropriate” for the court to act on the Centre’s plea seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor rally scheduled on January 26. Stating that it was not for the court to pass orders, the bench said that the question of who should be allowed into Delhi to hold protests is a law and order issue that has to be handled by the police and not the court. The Centre, later, withdrew the petition.

In other news, the Supreme Court-appointed committee of experts held its first meeting in New Delhi Tuesday, and its members said they would “try to convince” the protesting farmers while seeking views of other farmer organisations and the government. Amid apprehensions among the farmer bodies over the members chosen for the committee, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde observed that a person will not be disqualified from being a member of any committee merely because he or she previously held an opinion on the subject being considered by it.

Live Blog

Protest enters 56th day; Tenth round of talks between Centre and farm unions today; Supreme Court says 'inappropriate' for court to act on Republic day tractor rally, asks police to take call; SC appointed panel holds first meeting. 

22:16 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Farmers join Cong rallies in B'luru to support Delhi stir, top leaders detained

Hundreds of farmers joined Congress workers in rallies across Bengaluru on Wednesday to express solidarity with their counterparts on the fringes of Delhi, who have been holding protests for close to two months now demanding withdrawal of the contentious farm laws.

Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar alleged that farmers coming to Bengaluru from across the state in response to its ‘Raj Bhavan Chalo’ call, were being stopped by the police. However, Congress urged the farmers and its supporters to continue with their protests.

“This is a protest called to make the voice of the protesting farmers echo across the country. Our movement will continue till all three anti-farmer laws are withdrawn. The (central) government has chosen to turn a blind eye to the plight of the farming community,” Shivakumar said. Click here to read detailed report.

21:23 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Cannot ignore issues raised by protesting farmers: Sharad Pawar

NCP president Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said the Centre seems to have no sympathy for farmers protesting outside Delhi against new agri laws in extreme weather conditions and favoured talks to resolve the issues raised by them.

Backing the protest, going on for over a month now, against the three farm laws enacted by the Centre in September last year, Pawar said the agitation can not be ignored.

"Farmers are sitting in cold temperatures on the streets but I don't see any sympathy for them by Government of India," he said.

The NCP leader also said he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the farm protest. "I had written a letter to the Prime Minister saying that farmers have raised certain apprehensions (over the new laws). (PTI)

20:16 (IST)20 Jan 2021
We will deliberate over government's proposal: BKU (Ugrahan) president

"The government proposed to suspend the farm laws for one and a half years. We rejected the proposal but since it has come from the government, we will meet tomorrow and deliberate over it," Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh Ugrahan was quoted as saying by PTI. 

20:10 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Talks progressing in the right direction: Narendra Tomar

"I feel that talks are progressing in the right direction and there is a possibility of finding a resolution on January 22," Narendra Singh Tomar was quoted as saying by ANI.

20:08 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Govt ready to put laws on hold for one and a half year: Narendra Tomar

"During discussions, we said that govt is ready to put on hold the farm laws for one or one and half year. I'm happy that farmer unions have taken this very seriously and said that they would consider it tomorrow and convey their decision on January 22," Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told media after the meeting.

19:45 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Govt said it is ready to suspend laws for one and half a year: Farm leader

“Govt has said it is ready to suspend the laws for one and half a year. In reply, farmers said that there is no point in suspending the laws and made it clear that we want the repeal of the laws,” a farmer leader was quoted as saying by ANI after the meeting.

19:40 (IST)20 Jan 2021
No breakthrough in 10th round of Centre-farmers' talks

The tenth round of meeting held on Wednesday between representatives of protesting farmers and the Central government also failed to resolve the impasse against the three farm laws. The next meeting will be held on January 22.

19:28 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Farm laws: Congress leaders detained after trying to lay siege to Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru

Senior Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar were detained along with scores of others when they attempted to proceed to Raj Bhavan to lay siege to it on Wednesday protesting the contentious farm laws of the Centre. Several congress workers and farmers from across the state descended on the city following a call given the state unit of the national party to lay siege to Raj Bhavan in protest against the new agri laws and condemn the hike in fuel prices.

Raising slogans, holding the party flag, banners and posters, the protesters took out a march from Freedom Park to the Governor's official residence, but were stopped on the way by police. (PTI)

18:11 (IST)20 Jan 2021
No breakthrough in first session

Farmer leaders said there was no breakthrough in the first session as both sides were stuck on their stated positions. Leaders said that there was little hope of any outcome other than fixing the date for the 11th round.

As the two sides took a break, where farmer leaders had langar food, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) general secretary Yudhvir Singh told PTI, "The stalemate is continuing over the three laws and I don't think any solution will emerge from today's meeting. Both sides are adamant on their position."

He said the government is insisting on first discussing the three laws and wants to take up the MSP (Minimum Support Price) matter later. 

"We will insist on a discussion on MSP after the tea break and also try to seek the next date for meeting before January 26," Singh said.

17:43 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Visuals from Vigyan Bhavan

Visuals from Vigyan Bhavan



 (Source: PTI)
17:18 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Farmers raise NIA summons issue at 10th round of talks

The government on Wednesday offered to amend the three contentious farm laws at their 10th round of talks with protesting unions but farmer leaders stuck to their demand for a complete repeal of the Acts and also raised the issue of NIA notices being served to farmers, news agency PTI reported.

During the break, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said there was no breakthrough during the first session and union leaders raised the issue of some farmers being harassed with NIA (National Investigation Agency) notices. The ministers apparently told the unions they will look into the matter.

"The government offered to carry out some amendments, but farmer leaders maintained they do not want anything less than a complete repeal of the laws," Tikait was quoted as saying by PTI. He also said the government appeared to be avoiding any discussion on the issue of MSP.

15:57 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Farmers' tractor rally on R-Day: Union leaders reject suggestion of alternative route

Farmer unions opposing the Centre's new agri laws on Wednesday rejected a suggestion by police officers to hold their proposed January 26 tractor rally on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway instead of Delhi's busy Outer Ring Road, sources said.

Union leaders and officers of the Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana police forces had met at the Vigyan Bhawan here to discuss the route and arrangements of the proposed rally on Republic Day.

The sources said that the farmer leaders were suggested by the police officers to take out their rally on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway, but they did not agree. (PTI)

15:07 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Talks between farmer unions and Centre begins

The tenth round of talks between farmer unions and the Centre over the three farm laws is currently underway at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. 

14:29 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Centre-farmer talks to begin shortly

The tenth round of talks between the government and representatives of protesting farmers on controversial new farm laws will take place today, as the agitation enters its 56th day. The talks which were originally planned for Tuesday were pushed back by a day to January 20, with the Centre saying both sides want to resolve the stalemate at the earliest but it was getting delayed due to the involvement of people of other ideologies.

14:27 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Farm stir has to end, both sides must find way out: RSS gen secy Bhaiyyaji Joshi

Calling for “sensitivity” while dealing with the farmers’ agitation over the new farm laws, RSS Sarkaryawah (general secretary) Suresh (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi has said that a “middle ground must be found and both sides must work to find a solution”. In an interview to The Indian Express, Joshi emphasised that “it is not good for the health of society for any agitation to run for too long”. “We just want the agitation (to) end quickly now,” he said. The statements, from the No. 2 of the ruling party’s parental organisation, assume significance at a time when the government is trying to find a way out of the stalemate.

13:30 (IST)20 Jan 2021
SC appoints someone & you shred their reputation: CJI

The CJI clarifies that the Committee was appointed to listen to grievances of affected parties and no adjudicatory power has been conferred on it. 

13:27 (IST)20 Jan 2021
SC 'disappointed' by aspersions cast on panel

During the hearing, the apex court also expressed "serious reservations" on aspersions being cast on members of the committee set up by it. CJI SA Bobde says the court intervened for the common interest of the people and that the panel was formed as the court is not an expert in the matter.  

13:23 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Centre withdraws plea in SC against farmers' tractor rally on Jan 26

The Centre Wednesday withdrew its plea seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor rally on January 26 by farmers protesting against the new farms laws after the Supreme Court said "it is a police matter".The police has the "authority" to deal with the issue pertaining to the proposed tractor march in Delhi on the Republic Day, said a bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian. "We have told you that we will not issue any direction. It is a police matter. We will allow you to withdraw. You are the authority and you have to deal with it. You have the powers to pass orders, you do it. It is not for the court to pass orders..," the bench said in the hearing conducted via video conferencing.After the observation of the apex court, the Centre withdrew the plea filed through Delhi Police seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor or trolley march or any other kind of protest which seeks to disrupt the gathering and celebrations of the Republic Day.

13:01 (IST)20 Jan 2021
SC says 'inappropriate' for court to act on R-day tractor rally; asks police to take call

The Supreme Court Wednesday said it was "inappropriate" for the court to act on the Centre's plea seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor rally scheduled on January 26. Stating that it was not for it to pass orders, the court said that the question of who should be allowed into Delhi to hold protests is a law and order issue that has to be handled by the police and not the court.

12:48 (IST)20 Jan 2021
Supreme Court to hear Delhi Police's plea to stay tractor rally by farmers on Republic Day

The Supreme Court is hearing a plea seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor rally scheduled on January 26. On Monday, the court had observed that its intervention on the new farm laws has been “misunderstood”, and that the question of who should be allowed into Delhi to hold protests is a law and order issue that has to be handled by the police and not the court.

At the Singhu border, Tuesday. (Photo: Abhinav Saha)

A day ahead of the next round of talks between the Centre and farmer unions opposed to the new agriculture laws, the Supreme Court-appointed committee of experts held its first meeting in New Delhi Tuesday, and its members said they would “try to convince” the protesting farmers while seeking views of other farmer organisations and the government.

Shetkari Sanghatana president Anil Ghanwat, addressing the press along with the two other members of the committee, agricultural economists Parmod Kumar Joshi and Ashok Gulati, said: “Committee members will keep aside their personal ideology on the farm laws while preparing the report to be submitted to the Supreme Court. We have to listen to the agitating farmers and other farmers on what they want. Our duty is to listen to them and place it before the Supreme Court. We are not here to impose our ideology.”

Yet Ghanwat, while responding to questions from reporters, said: “I want to tell the agitating farmers that the laws in place in the country for the last 70 years were not in the interest of the farmers… 4.5 lakh farmers have committed suicide due to this. If the farmer is becoming poor, and burdened with debt, then some changes are needed. When the changes were taking place, this movement (against the laws) started. We too were not entirely in favour of the laws. We also wanted some changes, some corrections. If these (new laws) are repealed, then any party that comes to power in the next 50-60 years will not have the patience to touch these laws, and the farmer will keep dying.”

Urging the unions to sit across the table, Ghanwat said: “Cooperate with us to bring those reforms, cooperate with the committee, you and we are one. I am a farmer leader. I have often led thousands of farmers from Maharashtra to help the farmers of Punjab. There is no question of enmity… Whether what they have to say is right or wrong, that can be decided by sitting face-to-face. We can be wrong, they can also be wrong. All can sit together and omit the wrong… what is right will be placed before the Supreme Court.”

Within hours of the meeting – three members of the panel met since the fourth member, Bhupinder Singh Mann, president of BKU (Mann) and chairman of All India Kisan Coordination Committee, recused himself from the panel on January 14 — unions opposed to the laws, and camping at the gates of Delhi since November 26, reiterated that they would not appear before the panel.

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