Arvind Kejriwal visits Singhu, challenges Centre to debate farm laws
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday challenged the Central government and its ministers to take part in an open debate on the three controversial farm laws with the protesting farmers in the city.
On Sunday evening, Kejriwal visited Guru Tegh Bahadur Memorial near Singhu border where farmers have been protesting against the farm laws for over a month. To show solidarity with the agitators, the Delhi government organised a Kirtan Darbaar - ‘Safar-e-Shahadat’ - at the memorial to honour the martyrdom of the Chaar Sahibzaade and Mata Gujri Kaur.
Kejriwal and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia attended this event, where the chief minister addressed the farmers.
“The government is saying the farmers are being misled. They have little understanding about the farm laws. I have heard all speeches and hence, the government should send its most knowledgeable minister or representative to take part in an open debate with the farmers. It will be clear who has a better understanding. It will be clear how dangerous these new farm laws are,” Kejriwal said.
He said the farmers have been braving the cold for the last one month to protest along Delhi’s borders, during which more than 40 people have lost their lives.
“I want to appeal to the Central government with folded hands to repeal these farm laws. These are our people, our brothers, sisters, mothers and elders. These are the people of our nation, listen to them, and end their struggle here. How many lives will you take,” he said.
The AAP chief said the Central government has fielded all their big leaders, ministers, and chief ministers of all states.
“I heard all their speeches and I have not heard even a single leader talking about how these farm laws will benefit the farmers. As far as the benefits of these farm laws counted by these leaders, the first they say is that the land will not be taken away from the farmers. Is this a benefit? The MSP and the mandis of the farmers will not be revoked, is this a benefit? Why have you brought the bills then? Instead of telling the benefits, they are justifying that these bills are not harmful to the farmers. Who will benefit then if not farmers?” he asked.
“The only benefit they tell us is that the farmers will be able to sell their produce anywhere in the country outside of the mandis. If the crop is being sold at Rs 800 per quintal in Bihar where there are no mandis, and the MSP is Rs 1850 per quintal then where do our farmers from Bihar and UP sell their produce for more than Rs 1850? They cannot even get 50% of the price outside of the mandis. This is not a benefit to the farmers but to the big companies and the rich,” he said.
Scientists from the Bihar Agriculture University, Sabour, said that things has not been in favour of the mango crop since its flowering time in March this year. Adding woe to the injuries have been the red-banded mango caterpillars which affected the fruits in their initial stage and continue to damage the crops, causing pre-mature falling of mangoes. This is the first time that mango farmers have experienced the impact of climate change, research wing, associate director, Mohammad Feza Ahmad, Bihar Agriculture University, Sabour added.
Two people were arrested as the anti-drugs agency- the Narcotics Control Bureau - on Saturday seized over 8,640 bottles of cough syrup containing codeine, a banned drug, in Maharashtra's Thane. Acting on inputs, two persons along with one pickup vehicle and a two-wheeler were intercepted by the Narcotics body on the Agra-Mumbai highway, after which 60 boxes containing 864 Kilos of cough syrup bottles were recovered.
Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann on Sunday flagged off a bicycle rally in Sangrur district of the state as part of campaign against drug menace. “Bicycle rally against drugs in Sangrur on slogan 'Fight Against Drugs, Play And Read' in every house in Punjab. More than 15,000 youth joined the rally ... it gives us courage. Your government will not stop till drugs are eradicated,” the chief minister tweeted in Punjabi.
A partial shutdown was observed in parts of Srinagar on Saturday on the call of separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on the death anniversaries of his father Molvi Mohammad Farooq and senior Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone. Another local said commercial activities were also suspended in Khanyar, Fatah Kadal, Habba Kadal and Bohri Kadal areas.
Himachal Pradesh government on Saturday reshuffled four Indian Police Services officers. A 2003-batch IPS officer, PD Prasad, has been posted as inspector general of southern range in superannuation of Himanshu Mishra. Rameshwar Singh Thakur, IG, state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau, has been posted as the IG CID (intelligence). HP principal secretary, health, Subashish Panda said allied health professionals play an important role and the state government would be soon implementing the same.