Amit Shah, Amarinder Singh to meet tomorrow before talks with farmers
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh will meet Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday ahead of the Centre’s much-awaited meeting with the representatives of the agitating farmers. The Shah-Singh meeting will take place at 9.30am. Wednesday’s meeting between farmers and the Centre is crucial as this is the fourth such meeting — all previous meetings being fruitless — over the grievances against the three farm bills passed recently by Parliament. Reports said Amarinder Singh will hold deliberations with Shah in an effort to work out an amicable solution to the deadlock.
Amit Shah, on Wednesday, held deliberations with agricultural minister Narendra Singh Tomar and railways minister Piyush Goyal on ways to dispel concerns over the farm laws.
On its 7th day, the farmers’ protests got a shot in the arm as transporters have also come forward calling for a nationwide strike from December 8 onwards. All-India Motor Transport Congress, the body that has called the strike, represents about 10 million truckers, which will massively hit the movement of essential goods across north India.
The protesting farmers on Wednesday demanded the central government call a special session of Parliament to repeal new farm laws. With traffic in the Capital being thrown out of gear on Wednesday because of the protest, they have also threatened to block other roads of the national capital if their demands are not met.
The ongoing protests led to several divisions and disagreement so far. Brickbats were being exchanged between Amarinder Singh and his Haryana counterpart ML Khattar over the “use of force” by the Haryana Police on the protesting farmers. On the other hand, Khattar demanded that he wanted to talk to Punjab CM over the farmers’ issues as he didn’t want the protest amid Covid-19 pandemic. On Wednesday, Singh and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal got engaged in a verbal face-off over the ongoing protests. Meanwhile, one of the farmers’ organisations — Krantikari Kisan Union — alleged that the Centre was dividing farmers’ organisations by projecting the ongoing protests as Punjab-centric.
Thousands of farmers representing over 30 farmers’ organisations have been agitating in the national Capital since Saturday, responding to the “Delhi Chalo” call against the agri-marketing laws enacted at the Centre in September.
Thursday’s meeting will be the fourth meeting on the issue and the second meeting amid the ongoing protest. Over 35 farmer leaders had held a three-hour meeting on Tuesday at Vigyan Bhavan with the ministerial delegation. Though their first round of talks on Tuesday did not yield a breakthrough but both sides agreed to hold the next round of talks on Thursday.
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- The Delhi Police have registered seven FIRs in connection with the protesting farmers' tractor parade, officials said.
- Farm leaders alleged Sidhu — who earlier publicly aired his differences with the Samyukt Kisan Morcha — tried to defame the farmers’ stir.
- Rai stated that the incident has hurt the “country’s devotional spirit” and an inquiry is essential to determine how anti-social elements managed to enter the tractor rally.
- Shah directed that additional central paramilitary forces be deployed in Delhi with immediate effect and individuals and groups behind the Red Fort seize be brought to justice.
- While more than 100,000 people attended the parade during the previous years, with Covid-19 norms in place on Tuesday, the crowd was limited to 25,000.
- The Opposition, including the Congress, alleges that the government rushed the farm laws without proper discussion in Parliament. The Centre, however, says the reforms will lead to new opportunities in agriculture trade.
- The parliament canteen, now run by ITDC will offer as many as 58 items, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, from January 27.
- Union minister for culture and tourism Prahlad Patel said government is addressing the lack of adventure sports equipment in Kargil.
- In contrast to the violence seen in the Capital, farmers held peaceful rallies across the country to protest against the farm laws.
- India put on display its war machines at a time when the country is locked in a tense border stand-off with China.
- The chaos and violence have raised questions about the future of the two-month-long agitation of farm unions.
- Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in a letter sent to her Indian counterpart, conveyed her greetings.
- Tuesday's decision to operate all trains comes a day after a meeting to resume local train services for all passengers was chaired by Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.