Farmers’ protest LIVE Updates: ‘Ready for talks... want discussions to be held clause by clause,’ says Agri min Tomar
As the protest against the central government’s agricultural reforms enters day 19, farmers are holding sit-in protests across the country today and are also observing a hunger strike from 8am to 5pm. These nationwide protests come a day after farmers had blocked the Delhi-Jaipur highway at Shahjahanpur. More and more farmers have been joining the agitation at several border points in the national capital. They were seen shouting anti-government slogans, singing songs, taking out marches with posters and banners and attending speeches at the borders.
The farmers have been protesting against the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020. While the Centre has assured that these reforms would eliminate middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce in commercial markets, protesters fear the new laws will allow big corporations to enter the agricultural sector and further end the system of minimum support price (MSP).
Union minister Kailash Choudhary on Sunday said that the Centre would soon hold another round of talks with farmers adding that the government will find ‘some solution’ to end the deadlock. So far, five rounds of talks have taken place between the farmers and the Centre which remained inconclusive. The sixth round of talks did not take place after protesters rejected the Centre’s provision to amend specific provisions of the new farm reforms. The government on several occasions has made it clear that is ready for a dialogue. But, farmer groups said that they would engage in talks only if the reforms are repealed.
Follow live updates on Day 19 of farmers’ agitation:
Government should repeal farm laws, says former MoS agriculture Akhilesh Prasad Singh
Congress MP and former minister of state for agriculture Akhilesh Prasad Singh said the government should repeal the three farm laws and the agitating farmers should be called for talks again. The government should go by their opinion, he also said.
After observing one day hunger strike, farmers break their fast at Singhu border
Want discussions to be held clause by clause: Tomar
“We have said that we are ready for the talks. Government will definitely do it if their (farmer unions’) proposal comes...We want the discussions to be held clause by clause. They’ll give their opinion on our proposal, we’ll definitely hold further talks,” says Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar.
“Members of All India Kisan Coordination Committee had come from Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra, Bihar. They supported farm bills and gave us a letter on the same. They said that the Modi government has done this for the welfare of farmers and they welcome and support it,” Tomar also said.
Our farmers are in peril these days: Kejriwal
“Our farmers are in peril these days. Those who should be tilling their fields are sitting in the biting cold. But I’m happy people in the country including army, lawyers, actors, doctors, are with them. We are with farmers too,” says Kejriwal at hunger strike in Delhi.
Entire country standing in solidarity with farmers: Kejriwal
“The entire country is standing in solidarity with the farmers,” says Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi chief minister.
Next round of discussions to be held soon: Haryana Deputy CM
“Agriculture Minister and Home Minister are continuously discussing the issue. Next round of discussions to be held soon. I hope 40 unions who came for talks earlier, will also join the next round of talks as well and come to a conclusion,” Haryana Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala.
AP leaders hold hunger strike in support of protesting farmers
Ministers and MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are holding a hunger strike in support of the farmers protesting against the central government’s farm reforms. Top leaders such as Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia, health minister Satyendar Jain, environment minister Gopal Rai and party spokesperson are present. Earlier, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had urged people to observe a one-day fast to express solidarity with the protesting farmers.
10 groups meet Tomar to extend support on farm laws
As many as 10 organisations from states such Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Bihar and Haryana, associated with All India Kisan Coordination committee, are meeting Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar, to extend their support on the farm reforms.
Centre misleading everyone on MSP, says BKU Haryana chief
Gurnam Singh Chaduni, President of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Haryana) said that the central government is misleading everyone on regarding the Minimum Support Price (MSP). “One thing the BJP is spreading that MSP will be given. Its ministers are repeatedly saying. The government is misleading everyone on MSP. Home Minister Amit Shah replied to us during 8th December meet that they can’t buy all 23 crops at MSP as its costs Rs 17 lakhs crores,” Chaduni told news agency ANI.
Appeal to farmers to sit and resolve issues: Union minister Kailash Choudhary
Union minister Kailash Choudhary appealed to the farmers to sit with the Centre and resolve issues related to the farm laws adding that sitting together leads to a solution. “If farmers want to get something added to these bills, it’s very much possible but it can’t be an absolute Yes or No’, the minister said while speaking to ANI.
Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar reaches Shah’s residence
Union Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar has reached Union home minister Amit Shah’s residence, news agency ANI reported.
Ghazipur, Singhu borders closed for traffic movement
The Delhi Traffic Police on Monday said that Ghazipur, Singhu, Auchandi, Piau Maniyari, Sabholi and Mangesh border points have been closed for traffic movement due to farmers protest. Please avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK road and NH-44, it added.
40 leaders of United Farmers Front to sit on hunger strike
Harinder Singh Lakhowal, General Secretary of the BKU told news agency ANI that 40 leaders of the United Farmers Front will sit on hunger strike at all borders points between 8 am-5 pm. 25 of them will sit at Singhu border, 10 at Tikri border and 5 at UP border, he added.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to observe fast in support of protesting farmers
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will hold a one-day fast in support of the farmers’ ongoing agitation today. he also urged his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) volunteers, supporters as well as the people of the country to join the protests.
Punjab CM calls Kejriwal ‘shameless liar’, slams him for exploiting protests
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh hit out at his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal for exploiting the ongoing agitation against the new farm reforms and went on to call him a shameless liar. Amarinder further said that Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are busy playing politics while farmers are sitting outside Delhi for the past 17 days to seek justice.
Protesting farmers send back group of Jamia students from UP Gate
Police officials on Sunday said that protesting farmers refused to allow a group of Jamia Millia Islamia students to join their agitation at the UP Gate (Ghaziabad)-Ghazipur (Delhi) border. The group of six students had arrived there to render support to the farmers by singing and playing ‘dafli’, they added.