All India Kisan Sabha leader Hannan Mollah said the sixth round of talks between the government and the Centre, scheduled for Wednesday, has been cancelled. His statement came after 13 farmer leaders met Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Mollah said that the minister told them that a proposal will be given to the farmer leaders on Wednesday.
Ahead of the meeting, farmer leaders had said that they would just ask a “yes or no” to their demands.
A Bharat Bandh, or a countrywide shutdown, was called on Tuesday from 11 am to 3 pm by the farmers who are protesting against the new agricultural laws.
The Aam Aadmi Party, meanwhile, alleged that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was put under house arrest by the police after he went to meet the farmers at Singhu border on Monday.
Farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting against the laws for nearly two months. The situation escalated twelve days ago, when thousands marched to the Capital, where they clashed with police who used tear gas, water cannons and batons against them. The farmers have since camped along Delhi borders, saying they won’t leave until the government rolls back the legislations.
Here are the day’s top updates:
11.10 pm: The Centre is not willing to repeal farm laws, All India Kisan Sabha leader Hannan Mollah adds, according to ANI.
11.08 pm: All India Kisan Sabha leader Hannan Mollah says there will be no meeting between farmers and the Centre on Wednesday. “The minister has said that a proposal will be given to the farmer leaders tomorrow,” he says. “Farmer leaders will hold a meeting over [government’s] proposal.”
10.44: Meeting between Union Home Minister Amit Shah and 13 farmer leaders is underway, reports India Today.
Ahead of the meeting, there was confusion over the venue due to which two of the farmer leaders decided to skip the talks. However, they later reached the Indian Council of Agricultural Research guest house in Delhi, to attend the meeting.
6.56 pm: Kejriwal says he is glad that the Bharat Bandh was successful, reports PTI. “I prayed for protesting farmers while sitting inside,” he adds.
6.50 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says he had planned to go meet the protesting farmers as a “common man” to express his solidarity with the agitation, reports ANI. “I think they [Delhi Police] came to know about my plan and they did not let me go,” claims the chief minister.
6.46 pm: Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav says the nationwide shutdown was observed in around 10,000 places in 25 states, reports PTI.
6.42 pm: Farmer leaders say they’ll ask just a “yes or no” to their demands when they meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah shortly, reports PTI. They say their call for Bharat Bandh against the new farm laws is “successful” and had impact in 25 states.
“There is no midway,” says farmer leader Rudru Singh Mansa. “We will demand just ‘yes or no’ from Home Minister Amit Shah at today’s meeting.”
5.20 pm: Visuals show protestors at the Ambala-Hisar highway in Haryana making way for an ambulance, reports ANI.
5.17 pm: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia says Arvind Kejriwal has been placed under house arrest as he had denied permission to convert stadiums into “temporary jails for protesting farmers”, reports ANI. “Now, public is not being allowed to meet him,” he adds. “Does this mean he is under house arrest? Why are all these security personnel posted here?”
5.10 pm: Punjab Kisan Union representative RS Mansa says the protestors do not want to cause any inconvenience to the public. “We do not want to cause any inconvenience to anyone from Delhi or Haryana, we should be allowed to hold protest at Ramlila Ground,” he adds, according to ANI. They are protesting at the Delhi border in Singhu.
4.32 pm: The countrywide strike partially affected markets and business activities in Rajasthan’s Kota, Jodhpur and Bikaner cities, PTI reports.
Shops remained closed in Bundi, Baran and Jhalawar towns. Buses, trucks and auto-rickshaws operated as usual.
4.28 pm: The Chandigarh Police arrest Congress workers for blocking the national highway between Chandigarh and Zirakpur during their protest, The Indian Express reports.
4.21 pm: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia holds a protest outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s house, NDTV reports.
4.13 pm: Maharashtra minister and Shiv Sena leader says his party’s workers will go to Delhi if the Centre does not resolve the standoff with farmers soon, PTI reports. “Farmers should not think that they are alone,” he says. “We took to streets on orders of Sena President and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to support farmers.”
4.10 pm: Sitaram Yechury says the Left had made a conscious decision to stay away from protest sites, PTI reports. “The farmer groups themselves also told us that they would want it this way,” he says. “So, we have no party banners at the protest sites.”
He adds that the Left parties do not want to politicise the protests. “However, our MPs are there [at protest sites], as parliamentarians, to show solidarity. We do not want to politicise the issue.”
4.08 pm: Congress and BJP workers clash during a protest against the farm laws in Jaipur.
4.02 pm: Communist Party of India (Marxist) Secretary General Sitaram Yechury says a joint delegation of Opposition parties will meet President Ram Nath Kovind over the farm laws at 5 pm on Wednesday, ANI reports. The delegation will have five members, including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
3.58 pm: Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath says the farmers of today are better informed. “Are the farmers stupid that they’ve gathered here [near Delhi] in such numbers?” he asks. “There’s a huge difference in the farmers from 30 years ago and now.”
3.33 pm: Anto Alphonse, Deputy Superintendent of Police North, Delhi Police, rejects the allegations made by Aam Aadmi Party that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been placed under house arrest, reports ANI.
“The deployment which is being seen outside the residence of Kejriwal is the regular deployment for the security of the chief minister,” says Alphonse. “We’re coordinating with the chief minister’s residence. Anyone whom they say they want to allow inside, we will allow.”
2.58 pm: Rakesh Tikait, spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, tells ANI that farmers’ have a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah at 7 pm today. “We are going to Singhu border now and from there we will go to [meet] the home minister.”
The meeting comes a day before the Centre is scheduled to the meet the protesting farmers’ for a sixth round of talks.
2.55 pm: Farmer leaders in Maharashtra accuse the Narendra Modi government of favouring corporates by bringing the new legislations, reports The Indian Express.
2.47 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa claims that no one is supporting the Bharat Bandh call given by farmers’ in Bengaluru and other parts of the state, reports ANI.
“The state and the Centre is pro-farmer,” says the chief minister. “The prime minister won’t take any decision against farmers. It’s not right to give the call for Bandh for political reasons. Police will take proper action on breaking the law.”
2.45 pm: Markets are open at KR Market in Bengaluru amid the Bharat Bandh.
2.15 pm: Various organisations, including transporters, are holding peaceful protests in Jammu to support the farmers’ call for Bharat Bandh against the agriculture laws, reports The Hindu. Shops and business establishments are partially open, with public transport staying off roads.
2.12 pm: According to PTI, most of Delhi markets are open amid a nationwide shutdown call against new farm laws. Praveen Khandelwal, general secretary of the Confederation of All India Traders, says that transport services and markets are functioning normally in the national Capital.
2 pm: Political parties and various other organisations protest against the Centre’s farm laws in front of Town Hall in Bengaluru, reports ANI.
1.57 pm: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Khattar arrives at Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar’s residence, as farmers observe a nationwide shutdown to protest against the new agricultural laws, reports ANI.
1.42 pm: The nationwide shutdown called by the farmers’ unions evoked a mixed response in Assam, reports PTI. In some areas, shops were closed, protesters blocked traffic, and Congress and Left supporters staged demonstrations. However, most offices in the state remain functional.
Protesters, mainly of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-backed Student Federation of India, burnt tyres on the roads and tried to block the traffic. Police detained most of them. Around 15 members of the KMSS were detained in Sivasagar, while half-a-dozen SFI activists were picked up when they staged a dharna in front of the State Bank of India’s Northeast head office in Guwahati.
1.40 pm: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani mocks Rahul Gandhi for supporting the farmers’ agitation and says the Congress leader wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between “kothmir [coriander] and methi -fenugreek],” reports The Indian Express.
“When the people of this country have discarded them, Congress and opposition parties are out to do agitation in the name of farmers and mislead the people,” Rupani says. “I want to ask…Rahul Gandhi, if you can make out, answer me if what is the difference between kothmir and methi.”
1.29 pm: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleges the Bharatiya Janata Party is “scared” that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will “take to the streets in favour of the Bharat Bandh”, reports ANI. “They [BJP] do not say anything to Captain Amarinder [Singh] because the two are colluding to call farmers anti-national,” he adds.
1.27 pm: Shopkeepers in Delhi’s Sarojini Nagar market tie black ribbons around their arms to express solidarity with farmers, reports ANI.
12.35 pm: Protesting farmers have blocked the Delhi-Meerut highway till 3 pm, reports NDTV.
12.34 pm: Shops and commercial establishments are shut at several places in Punjab in view of the “Bharat Bandh”, reports PTI.
12.31 pm: The Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and its allies are holding protests across Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, as part of the farmers call for “Bharat Bandh”, reports PTI.
10.42 am: The Aam Aadmi Party alleges that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was put under house arrest by the police after he went to meet the farmers at Singhu border on Monday.
10.26 am: The supporters of Left parties block trains at the Jadavpur Railway station in Kolkata, The Indian Express reports.
10.22 am: Gautam Buddh Nagar Additional Commissioner of Police Love Kumar says the police is trying to ensure that the people don’t face troubles due to traffic disruptions, ANI reports. “Adequate security [has been] deployed at all important entry/exit points to/from the district,” he says. “We also deployed the Provincial Armed Constabulary.”
Kumar adds: “Officers are making the rounds in their respective areas and ensuring that no one imposes [the] Bandh forcibly. Everyone has been instructed to ensure security of railway stations, bus stands, metro stations and autos. We’ll strictly deal with anyone who takes law in their hand.”
10.20 am: Left parties hold a demonstration in support of the farmers in Kolkata.
10.19 am: Rashtriya Janata Dal workers protest in Darbhanga district, ANI reports.
10.16 am: Karnataka Congress leaders, including Siddaramaiah, BK Hariprasad and Ramalinga Reddy, shout slogans against the Centre at the Vidhana Soudha, ANI reports.
10.14 am: Congress President Sonia Gandhi will not celebrate her birthday on Wednesday as a mark of support for the farmers’ protest, ANI reports.
10.07 am: American politicians express their support for the protesting farmers, according to PTI.
“I stand in solidarity with the Punjabi farmers in India protesting for their livelihoods and protection from misguided, manipulative government regulations,” Doug LaMalfa, who represents Californian’s first Congressional district, says.
Representative Josh Harder says the Indian government owed it to its citizens to allow peaceful protest. “I encourage these folks and PM [Narendra] Modi to have peaceful, productive discussions.”
10.05 am: Members of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna, a famers’ group in Maharashtra, stop a train in Buldhana district, PTI reports. The police detain the group’s leader Ravikant Tupkar and his supporters.
10.01 am: Protestors in Gujarat use burning tyres to block three highways, PTI reports. The police in Ahmedabad detain the protestors.
Gujarat has also imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
7.35 am: Seven borders that are completely closed due to the farmers’ protest are Singhu, Tikri, Auchandi, Jharoda, Piao Maniyari, and Mangesh in outer and south-western parts of the city and Chilla border, connecting Delhi and Noida, in east Delhi, reports the Hindustan Times.
Apart from these points, the Delhi-Meerut expressway at Ghazipur-Ghaziabad border is closed for vehicles coming to Delhi from Ghaziabad side, while the opposite carriageway through which vehicles move towards Ghaziabad is open. The service road of NH-24 at the UP gate border is also closed as the protesting farmers have occupied it for the past 10 days.
7.30 am: Bank unions have said they stand in solidarity with the farmers but will not participate in the bandh, reports NDTV. They will, however, wear black badges while on duty and stage protests after or before working hours. Almost all commercial transport and truck unions, though, will participate in the agitation, and supply of dairy products, fruits and vegetables is likely to be impacted.
7.25 am: Political parties like the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Shiv Sena, Aam Aadmi Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Samajwadi Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Indian National Lok Dal have supported the bandh call. The AAP will hold a peaceful demonstration at 11 am at the ITO crossing in the Capital in support of the nationwide strike, reports the Hindustan Times.
7.20 am: The Delhi Police warn of strict action against protestors who disrupt traffic, or force others to participate in the agitation. Delhi Police Commissioner N Srivastava said Section 144 of the Code of Criminal procedure, prohibiting large gatherings of people, was also imposed, reports the Hindustan Times. “Our maximum strength will be on roads and an elaborate traffic and security arrangement has been put in place for the nationwide strike,” he adds. “Nobody will be allowed to take the law in his or her hands.”
7.20 am: The police of Delhi and Haryana have issued separate travel and traffic advisories for people looking to enter or leave the Capital, which is likely to bear the brunt of the bandh after farmers camped at junctions along the Uttar Pradesh and Haryana borders warning they will cut off road access to the city. Traffic on National Highways 9, 19, 24, 44 and 48 will be disrupted, with either sections or the whole of these roads closed, reports NDTV.
7.14 am: A Bharat Bandh, or a countrywide shutdown, has been called by the farmers who are protesting against the new agricultural laws on Tuesday from 11 am to 3 pm. As part of the agitation, farmers said they would block all the roads leading up to Delhi. The toll plazas of the highways leading to Delhi will also be occupied. Farmer leaders, however, said the Bharat Bandh will be peaceful, and no shops and establishments will be forcibly closed.
7.08 am: Here are the top updates from Monday
- Kerala Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar said that the state government will challenge the controversial farm laws in the Supreme Court.
- Amid the continuing standoff between farmers’ groups and the central government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that reforms are needed for development.“We cannot build the next century with the laws of the previous century,” Modi said. “Some laws that used to be good in the past century have become a burden in the present century. ”
- Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav was detained during a protest against the farm laws in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow. Earlier, the Uttar Pradesh Police deployed its personnel outside his residence and the party’s office in Lucknow, ahead of Yadav’s visit to a march.
- The Bharatiya Janata Party accused Opposition parties of “shameful double standards” citing instances where it claimed that they supported provisions similar to the three new agriculture laws. Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad claimed that the Congress’ manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls had promised to repeal the Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act and make agri-trade free from all restrictions.
- West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the Narendra Modi government should either withdraw the three new agriculture laws or step down.
- The Bharatiya Janata Party has attacked the Nationalist Congress Party for its “double standards”. The saffron party said that when Sharad Pawar was the former Union agriculture minister in the United Progressive Alliance government, he sought to invite private players into the agriculture sector. Letters of Pawar’s support to private sector entry into agriculture surfaced on social media as the NCP firmly opposed the farm laws. The Nationalist Congress Party, in turn, issued clarifications.