The Centre on Monday advanced the dates for crop procurement by two days, amid protests against the farm laws throughout the country. Procurement of winter rice and paddy will now begin on September 29 instead of the usual October 1.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday asked states ruled by her party to bring in legislation to override the new farm laws passed by the Centre.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, meanwhile, told the protesting farmers to wait for six months to see how the new laws will help them.
The protests against the Centre’s contentious agriculture laws intensified as farmers’ organisations and political parties continued their demonstrations.
While farmers called for a dawn-to-dusk shutdown in Karnataka, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu is holding a state-wide agitation. In Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh joined a sit-in demonstration in Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. He also threatened to approach the Supreme Court against the new laws. Some reports said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi may also join protestors in Punjab.
The Delhi Police detained protesting Congress leaders in the national Capital. Five workers from Punjab were also arrested for setting a tractor on fire near India Gate.
Here are the day’s updates:
9.54 pm: After breaking its alliance with the BJP, the Shiromani Akali Dal has asked its members to resign from the posts held by them in the three municipal corporations of Delhi, PTI reports. The party has decided to give up all the posts it jointly held with the BJP in any organisation, including the municipal corporations, the president of the Delhi unit of SAD, Harmeet Singh Kalka, says at a media conference.
8.15 pm: The police have detained farmers and Congress supporters during a protest in Gandhinagar in Gujarat, PTI reports.
8.08 pm: The Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee says its rail-roko agitation in Punjab will continue till October 2, ANI reports. “We want to appeal to farmers across the country to take part in protest against the Modi government,” the general secretary of the outfit says.
7.44 pm: The Centre advances the dates for crop procurement by two days, NDTV reports. Procurement of winter rice and paddy will now begin on September 29 instead of the usual October 1. Earlier, the government had advanced the procurement dates in Punjab and Haryana by five days.
7.33 pm: Congress leader Sachin Pilot has accused the Centre of betraying farmers, PTI reports. He alleges that the farm bills have been deliberately brought in at a time when the economy is collapsing and farmers are suffering losses.
7.11 pm: West Bengal Congress President Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury writes a letter to West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, urging him to intervene and ensure that “Three Black Laws” are withdrawn and repealed.
6.13 pm: Congress President Sonia Gandhi has asked Congress-ruled states to consider bringing laws to overrule the new farm laws. “Hon’ble Congress President has asked the Congress-ruled states to explore the possibilities to pass laws in their states under Article 254(2) of the constitution which allows the state legislatures to pass a law to override a Central law which then comes for President Assent,” Congress leader KC Venugopal tweets.
5.46 pm: K Chandrashekhar, chief of Farmer’s Federation of Karnataka, calls Prime Minister Narendra Modi a liar, NDTV reported. “They are lying to farmers,” he says. “Narendra Modi is a liar and to being what he says into practice in this state, Yediyurappa is also repeating the lie. This is all against farmers.” The police have taken around 500 protestors into custody in the state.
5.27 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says: “In the last three years, Punjab has given Rs 5,000 crore to farmers,” he says. “They don’t know now who is going to buy the food from them. If a farmer’s child is ill, how is he going to arrange the money if there are no commission agents.”
5.17 pm: The Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee submits to Governor Kalraj Mishra a memorandum addressed to President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking withdrawal of the legislations, PTI reports. State Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasra and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot submits the memorandum to Governor Mishra at the Raj Bhavan in Jaipur.
5.01 pm: The Congress party also holds a protest in Haryana against the bills. Congress leaders claim these legislations will make “Atmanirbhar” farmers “dependent” and leave them at the mercy of big corporates. Congress workers carried placards reading “listen to farmers, end their oppression”. They demanded that the “black laws” be withdrawn.
4.44 pm: Karnataka BJP leader Tejasvi Surya accuses the Congress of taking a U-turn on farm laws, ANI reports. “Farmers know that the bills passed by government is for their welfare,” he says. “Congress which is today protesting against the bills had earlier promised in its manifesto to bring these reforms if it comes to power. But since Modi [Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s] government has done it now, Congress is taking u-turn.”
4.39 pm: Hundreds of protestors who gathered at Myuru Bank circle in Bengaluru were detained and taken to the City Armed Reserve headquarters and the KSRP Parade Ground in Madiwala, The Indian Express reports.
4.30 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa tells the farmers to wait for six months to see how the new laws will help them, The Indian Express reports. “We haven’t closed the doors on APMC [Agricultural produce market committees], you [the farmers] can sell it at APMC or wherever you can get a fair price,” he says. “I request the farmers to wait for another six months or a year. You’ll get to know how it will help you.”
4.27 pm: The police detain Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu and other party workers during a protest against the farm laws in Lucknow, ANI reports.
3.40 pm: Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal says she did not gain anything after submitting her resignation to protest the farm laws, reports ANI. “I’ve only lost,” she says. “But it brought farmers’ issues to the centre stage. Parliament session had to be cut short by a week due to nationwide protests against the farm bills.”
The Akalis have also quit the BJP-led alliance amid differences over the farm laws.
3.03 pm: “If I have a tractor and I set it on fire, why should it bother anyone else,” asks Punjab chief minister.
A tractor was set on fire at Delhi’s India Gate by a group of men protesting against the farm laws and five of them have been arrested.
3 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says the tractor burning incident near India Gate in New Delhi shows public anger, reports NDTV. “It shows what people are feeling... their anger,” he adds. “Farmers don’t know who is going to buy [their produce from them].”
2.53 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says the state will also move Supreme Court against the new farm laws, reports ANI. “Agriculture is a state subject but farm bills have been passed without asking us,” he adds. “It is totally unconstitutional.”
2.45 pm: TN Prathapan, Congress MP from Kerala, has approached Supreme Court challenging the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, reports News18. His petition seeks the quashing of two laws as unconstitutional and illegal. It also seeks direction to set up separate tribunals for farmers like industrial workers.
This is the first plea filed in the top court against the contentious farm laws.
1.59 pm: The Delhi police detain Congress leader Anil Kumar and other workers during a protest at the Rajghat, PTI reports. “We wanted to submit a memorandum to the Lt governor against the farm bills passed by Parliament but we were detained by the police,” Kumar says. “The Congress will not rest till the Modi government withdraws its anti-farmer bills.”
The detained protestors were taken to a stadium in Hari Nagar.
1.46 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi says that the new agriculture laws are a “death sentence” for farmers. He cites a news report that Opposition members demanding a division of votes on the farm bills on September 20 were on their seats when they were passed in the Rajya Sabha, contrary to the Narendra Modi government’s claim.
“Their [farmers] voice is crushed in Parliament and outside,” he tweets. “Here is proof that democracy in India is dead.”
1.44 pm: Five people have been arrested for setting a tractor on fire near India Gate, reports NDTV. All of them are from Punjab and the car in which they were travelling has been seized.
1.40 pm: Union minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar criticises the Congress after a tractor was set on fire near India Gate in Delhi, reports PTI. Javadekar alleges that it was done by Congress workers, adding that the party has “shamed” India.
“Bringing tractor in a truck and then burning it at India Gate is a drama enacted by the Congress and we condemn it,” says Javadekar. “The party has been trying to do politics in the name of farmers, and it has been unmasked. It has enacted a drama for publicity.”
12.35 pm: Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh says the Centre does not know anything about agriculture, News18 reports. “They aren’t able to comprehend why people are against the bill,” Singh says. “The farmers from Punjab have been growing food for the nation. Will the Central government give food to these farmers?”
He adds: “Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar is lying. We never agreed to their arguments. The Centre declared that they have decided on the bill, and called us just to inform. They called their members and decided on the bill. Farmers have a right to protest. We will go to the Supreme Court.”
12.30 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh participates in a sit-in protest at Khatkar Kalan village in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar.
12.28 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi may join protests in Punjab, according to the Hindustan Times.
12.22 pm: Here are some visuals of the protest in Karnataka.
12.20 pm: Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan criticises the Congress for the tractor burning incident. “Today Congress showed its true colours in Delhi,” Pradhan tells ANI. “In the name of farmers, some anti-social elements are trying to spread anarchy. The incident is unfortunate. They are trying to mislead farmers. Words fall short to condemn this incident.”
12.18 pm: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President MK Stalin takes part in a protest against the legislation in Kanchipuram. Stalin urges the Tamil Nadu government to approach court against the new laws like Kerala. He says opposition parties will do it otherwise, ANI reports.
12.15 pm: Visuals of farmers’ organisations protesting in Karnataka.
12.10 pm: A tractor was set on fire near the India Gate in Delhi on Monday morning. The Punjab Youth Congress streamed the burning on their social media account.
“Today at around 7:15 AM, some (15-20) persons carrying tractor in Tata 407 vehicle came at Rajpath, Man Singh Crossing,” the Delhi Police said, according to NDTV. “They offloaded the tractor and tried to set it ablaze. They claimed to be members of Youth Congress Punjab.” The protesters were heard shouting Bhagat Singh slogans.
The police have detained five people in connection with this incident.
12.05 pm: Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal has alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance was an alliance “just in name”, The Indian Express reported on Monday. Badal’s comments came a day after his party, one of the BJP’s oldest allies, pulled out of the NDA.
Badal said the alliance was based on a common minimum programme, and that the welfare of farmer as well as communal harmony were its fundamental principles. “I am sad the BJP has become insensitive to both these principles,” he told The Tribune. “We tried to persuade them to listen to the farmers. But when they refused to budge, we had to come out and stand by the beleaguered farmers.”
Read more here:
11.50 am: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has defended her government’s new contentious agricultural laws and claimed that they do not hurt farmers, The Indian Express reported on Monday. “When the protests are going on – look also at the places where the protests are being held – what exactly are you protesting for?” she asked. “Which part of the Act is hurting you? Hurting the farmers, how pray? I challenge these people… ask us that one question, where we won’t be able to answer you.”
Read more here:
11.40 am: Farmers’ organisations in Karnataka are observing a dawn-to-dusk shutdown across the state on Monday to protest against the amendments to the agricultural produce market committee and land reforms passed by the Assembly last week. Labour organisations, pro-Kannada outfits and political parties like the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) have extended their support to the bandh call.
Read more here:
11.30 am: The protests against the Centre’s contentious agriculture laws intensified on Monday as farmers’ organisations and political parties continued their demonstrations.
While farmers called for a dawn-to-dusk shutdown in Karnataka, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu is holding a state-wide agitation, News18 reports. In Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is expected to join a sit-in demonstration in Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. Some reports said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi may also join protestors in Punjab.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill were cleared by Parliament in September amid protests from the Opposition.
Critics say that these new agricultural policies would lead to farmers losing out on guaranteed purchase prices for their crops, to the benefit of large corporations. Most Opposition parties and farmers’ organisations across the country have strongly opposed the bills. The Shiromani Akali Dal, one of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s oldest allies, pulled out of the National Democratic Alliance in protest against these bills.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre, however, has consistently maintained that the bills would help in farmers getting a higher price for their produce as state-based Agricultural Produce Market Committees or APMC has been removed.