Farmers’ Delhi protest HIGHLIGHTS: Farmers not begging, only asking for their rights, says Arvind Kejriwal

Thousands of farmers from across the country took out a rally to Parliament street in Delhi on Friday to press for their demands, including debt relief and remunerative prices for their produce. Denied permission to proceed beyond, the agitating farmers from across the country converged near Parliament Street police station in the national capital on Friday, where their leaders addressed the protesters.Congress president Rahul Gandhi also addressed the gathering at the farmers’ rally. Delhi CM and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal is also likely to address the gathering of farmers in the evening.The farmers reached the national capital on Thursday at the historic Ramlila ground from different corners of the country, including Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, to participate in the two-day Kisan March.Read: Government has failed to check rising input costs, claim farmersThe historic ground, known for hosting big political events over the years, started filling up on Thursday from about 10.30 am, and arrangements have been made for the farmers to sleep in tents.Here are the highlights:

By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 30, 2018 10:06 PM IST
4:05 pm IST

Kisan Bima Yojana only benefits firms: Kejriwal

Launching a sharp attack on the ruling government, Kejriwal said, “Kisan Bima Yojana only benefits firms and that the government should stop the scheme.”

4:02 pm IST

Swaminathan commission report should be implemented: Kejriwal

Batting for farmers’ rights, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said, “BJP should implement the Swaminathan commission report, they should waive off the farm loans and should get fair price for their produce.”

3:58 pm IST

If farmers are sad, the country can’t progress: Arvind Kejriwal

“The country whose farmers are sad can never progress. The prime minister and BJP haven’t kept their promise. They didn’t implement the Swaminathan report, which they promised to implement.” said Arvind Kejriwal.

3:52 pm IST

United to extend support for the future of farmers and youths: Rahul

There are leaders from other parties sitting here. We can have different ideologies. But we are united to extend support for the future of farmers and youths. And we want to tell PM Narendra Modi and BJP, if we have to change laws or even change the prime minister, we will ensure good future for farmers, no matter what you do: Rahul Gandhi

3:48 pm IST

Govt that disrespects farmers and youths will be dethroned: Rahul

The government that disrespects farmers and youths of India will be dethroned. And this will happen. I want to assure farmers and every leader said the same here: you feed the country, all of us stand by you. Even if laws have to be changed, we will support you. Not one party runs this country. This country is run by farmers, labourers, shopkeepers... To the leaders who are here, you are standing for farmers of the country. I want to thank you all: Rahul Gandhi

3:45 pm IST

Farmers aren’t demanding free gifts, they’re asking what they rightfully deserve: Rahul Gandhi

There are two issues facing the country — future of farmers, and jobs for youth. It’s a fight for the future of our youth and farmers. The prime minister didn’t keep his promise. If he can waive off 3.5 lakh loans of business man, farm loans should be waived off. The farmers of the country are not demanding free gifts, they are just asking what they rightfully deserve: said Rahul Gandhi.

3:38 pm IST

Rahul Gandhi arrives at farmers’ rally

Congress president has arrived at the farmer’s rally to extend support to the peasants who are agitating against the government. Thousands of farmers from across the country took out a rallyto Parliament street in Delhi on Friday to press for their demands, including debt relief and remunerative prices for their produce.

3:30 pm IST

Rahul Gandhi to join farmers’ rally shortly

Congress president Rahul Gandhi will be joining the farmers’ rally shortly to extend support to them, tweeted Congress.

3:22 pm IST

AAP supports all your demands: Sanjay Singh

“Aam Aadmi Party supports all your demands. We will support the bills in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha,” said AAP MP Sanjay Singh.

“PM Modiji only seeks votes on Ram Mandir whenever elections are close. Modiji you have exploited the country enough by talking about divisive issues. It’s time when you will be judged on issues concerning farmers and youths. You cannot built a nation by dividing people,” Singh added.

3:14 pm IST

No growth in agriculture under BJP rule: Yechury

“There is no growth in agrarian sector under BJP rule. In these past 4 years, agriculture has been in a downward spiral, which has led to farmers’ suicides,” said Sitaram Yechury, adding BJP is insensitive to farmers’ cause.

Launching a sharp attack on the prime minister, Yechury said, “Modi is a pocketmaar (pickpocket) who is looting the country of all its money,” while terming Amit Shah as PM Modi’s “accomplice.

3:12 pm IST

We should rise above BJPs divisive politics and be united for speaking about farmers: Yechury

Addressing the gathering at farmers’ rally, Sitaram Yechury said, “We should rise above BJPs divisive politics and be united for speaking about farmers.” Yechury also claimed that the ruling government is using Ram temple issue to create communal divide.

“BJP, Modi and RSS have only one weapon in hand that is Ram Temple. As the elections are approaching, they have started chanting ‘Ram Ram’,” said Yechury.

3:10 pm IST

Will keep pressuring govt to pass bills and make laws: Yechury

“We will continue to support the farmers. We support both the bills. We will keep pressuring the government to pass the bills and make laws. We want to tell the government of the day that if you do not listen to the demands, we will use the power to dethrone you,” said CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury at farmers’ rally.

2:58 pm IST

Sharad Pawar addresses farmers’ rally

NCP chief Sharad Pawar addressed the farmers’ rally.

“Farmers of the country are suffering . The government has no sympathies for them. The government is not ready to pay them remuneration. We are here to wake the government up and ask them to take steps to resolve farmers’ issues or else we will throw them out in 2019. We will support the agitation unless the bills are passed in the parliament,” he said.

2:55 pm IST

Former railways minister Dinesh Trivedi addresses farmers’ rally

Former railways minister and TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi addressed farmers’ rally. “We consider this gathering as our parliament. Lets pass a resolution of demands which the other parliament has to support,” said Trivedi.

2:45 pm IST

Swaraj Party Chief Yogendra Yadav addresses gathering

Swaraj Party chief Yogendra Yadav addressed the gathering at farmers’ rally in Jantar Mantar.

“This is a historic occasion when farmers, supported by urban middle class have started speaking out. The agitation has moved beyond protests and farmers have even suggested solutions by framing two bills which are already in Parliament. Let’s pledge to not vote for the party that is not supporting us,” said Yadav.

2:26 pm IST

Sharad Pawar arrives to attend farmers’ rally

Sharad Pawar arrived at Parliament street, where the agitating farmers are converging. Congress president Rahul Gandhi is also expected to arrive shortly to attend the farmers’ rally.

2:15 pm IST

Rahul Gandhi expected to attend farmers’ march

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is expected to attend the farmers’march at around 3.30 pm on Friday. Delhi CM and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal is also likely to address the gathering of farmers in the evening.

The agitating farmers, demanding higher crop prices and farm loan waiver, reached Parliament street after being granted due permission by the Delhi police .

2:00 pm IST

Agitating farmers stopped near Parliament Street police station

Denied permission by police to march to Parliament, around 35,000 farmers from across the country have converged near Parliament Street police station in the national capital on Friday, where their leaders addressed the protesters.

The national secretary of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), Asish Mittal, said farmers from 24 states have also joined the protest to press for their demands, including debt relief and remunerative prices for their produce.

They were stopped near Parliament Street police station, after which they assembled there.

1:32 pm IST

Farmers given permission for rally with conditions: Delhi police

After the procession of farmers reached Parliament street, the Delhi police said the farmers were given permission for the rally with conditions.

Deputy commissioner of police, New Delhi, Madhur Verma said, “Delhi Police held multiple rounds of talks with farmers’ leaders and gave permission for rallying from Ramlila Maidan to Jantar Mantar, with conditions. We hope that they’ll follow the conditions.”

“Proper arrangements done for security, traffic, and law and order. Around 8,000 farmers have reached Ramlila Maidan. They will conclude their march at Parliament Street and culminate their protest from there,” he added.

Also Read: Farmers’ march to Parliament disrupts traffic in central Delhi

12:30 pm IST

Farmers’ march reach Parliament street following due permission from the Delhi Police

The agitating farmers, demanding higher crop prices and farm loan waiver reached Parliament street after being granted due permission by the Delhi police .

The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), which has organised the Kisan Mukti march, got the required permission around midnight.

Social activist Medha Patkar confirmed to reporters that the permission was received at 12 am.

12:12 pm IST

Traffic in tizzy due to farmers’ march

Traffic in central and Lutyens’ Delhi went into a tizzy on Friday as thousands of farmers, who have been camping at the Ramlila ground since Thursday, began their march to Parliament amid heavy policy deployment.

11:57 am IST

Protesting farmers reach Parliament street

Agitating farmers, banded under the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), reached the Parliament street. The traffic in the area has been affected due to the rally carried out by the farmers, tweeted Delhi traffic police.

On Thursday, the Ramlila maidan, known for hosting big political events over the years, resonated with slogans like ‘Ayodhya nahi, karz maafi chahiye’ as farmers wearing red caps and carrying red flags started to gather.

11:24 am IST

Protesting farmers reach Jantar Mantar

Protesting farmers reached Jantar Mantar on the second day of 2-day protest to press for their demands for debt relief, better MSP for crops, among others.

The farmers, who have been camping at the Ramlila ground here since Thursday, began their march to Parliament Street on Friday amid heavy police deployment. 

11:02 am IST

Farmers begin march towards Parliament from Ramlila Maidan

Thousands of farmers from across the country, who have been camping at the Ramlila ground here since Thursday, began their march to Parliament Street on Friday amid heavy policy deployment, to press for their demands, including debt relief and remunerative prices for their produce.

10:58 am IST

Around 1,000 traffic personnel deployed to keep traffic smooth

The joint CP (traffic) said that around 1,000 traffic personnel have been deployed to plan diversions and to keep traffic smooth.

Traffic police will give real-time updates on FB&Twitter of affected traffic routes. Commuters are advised to stay updated

10:56 am IST

Students, professionals extend support to agitating farmers

Volunteers, including doctors, lawyers, professors and artists, all came out in large numbers to help the farmers. Around 600-700 volunteers of a solidarity group Nation For Farmers marched with the protesters from the four assembly points.

Five Gurdwaras in the Delhi region have extended their help to the farmers. Also students from various universities turned out in large numbers to lend support to the farmers. The protest also saw participation of a number of women farmers who travelled from various parts of the country.

10.54 am IST

Will be one of the largest congregations of farmers in Delhi: AIKSCC

The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) has claimed that the two-day rally will be one of the largest congregations of farmers in Delhi.

9:47 am IST

Elaborate arrangements in place for farmers’ march

Elaborate arrangements have been made to avoid any untoward incident during the farmers’ march in Delhi.There will be a rope on both the sides of the marching farmers with the police walking on the other side of the rope to ensure traffic is not affected, police said, adding that they will ensure minimum inconvenience is caused to commuters.

Elaborate arrangements in place for farmers’ march ( Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times )

Banded under the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), which claims to be an umbrella body of 207 organisations of farmers and agricultural workers, many of the farmers have come in trains and others packed into buses and other modes of transport.

9:25 am IST

Farmers group from Tamil Nadu threaten to march naked if they are not allowed to go to Parliament

The farmers’ group from Tamil Nadu threatened to march naked if they are not allowed to go to Parliament on Friday. Last year, the group staged protests at Jantar Mantar with the skulls of eight farmers who killed themselves owing to farm losses. The two-day rally will be one of the largest congregations of farmers in Delhi, the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) has claimed.

Also Read: Farmers march to Parliament today in Delhi; Arvind Kejriwal, Sharad Pawar expected to attend rally at Jantar Mantar

Farmers protest with skulls of farmers who killed themselves owing to farm losses. ( Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times )
9:04 am IST

Arvind Kejriwal, Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah expected to join farmers’ march to Parliament street

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, Loktantrik Janata Dal’s Sharad Yadav, to name a few are expected to join the farmers’ march to Parliament street.

9:02 am IST

Tight security in the national capital ahead of farmers march to Parliament street

Over 3,500 police personnel will be deployed on Friday when the farmers will begin their march from Ramlila Maidan to Parliament Street, a high security zone, police said.

On Thursday, traffic was disrupted in many parts of the city as they marched to Ramlila Ground in the heart of the city on four different routes -- starting at the Anand Vihar, Nizamuddin and Bijwasan railway stations and at Sabzi Mandi.

As many as 850 police personnel, up to the rank of sub-inspectors, will be deployed in the Central district. They will be augmented by the presence of 12 police companies, including two of women, comprising 75-80 personnel each, said a police officer.

He added that 95 officers from the rank of inspectors up to additional deputy commissioners of police will also be on the ground to monitor the situation.

8:25 am IST

Farmers belonging to 200 farmers organizations in Delhi to push for implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee report,

Farmers belonging to 200 farmers organizations gathered in the national Capital to push for their demands including implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee report, farm loan waiver and better Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their agricultural produce.

8:02 am IST

Thousands of farmers converge at Ramlila ground on the second day of 2-day protest

Thousands of farmers from across the country converged at the historic Ramlila ground on Thursday after journeys that took some as long as 36 hours to complete.

Visuals from Ramlila Maidan on the second day of 2-day protest by farmers from all across the nation, who are asking for debt relief, better MSP for crops, among other demands. 

7:28 am IST

No govt can survive without support of farmers: ex-PM Gowda

Assuring the agitating peasants here that he stood by them in their struggle, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda said on Thursday no government can survive without the support of farmers.

“No government can survive without (the support of) farmers. The Union government must listen to their demands. The farmers of this country has awakened and they cannot be fooled,” Gowda said.

7:12 am IST

Farmers converge in Delhi from different corners of the country

The farmers converged in the national capital on Thursday from different corners of the country, including Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, to participate in the two-day Kisan March.

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