Farm law protests: Farmers’ union leader says they’ll block Reliance and Adani toll plazas next week
The Bhartiya Kisan Union moved the SC against the farm laws, fearing that it will lead to commercialisation and they will be at the mercy of big businesses.
Bhartiya Kisan Union chief Balbir S Rajewal on Friday said that the farmers will protest outside the houses of BJP leaders and block large domestic corporations and retailers, including Reliance Industries and Adani Enterprises toll plazas.
Earlier in the day, the Bharatiya Kisan Union moved the Supreme Court to challenge the three agriculture laws. It claimed that the laws will make farmers “vulnerable to corporate greed”.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the proposal sent to farmers on changes to the laws was still with them, adding that the protestors did not reply to it or inform the government about rejecting them.
Hundreds of thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been camping along Delhi’s borders for over 15 days, saying they won’t leave until the government rolls back what they called the “black laws”. The Centre has tried to allay fears in several rounds of talks, but has refused to repeal the legislations.
Here’s what happened through the day:
10.51 pm: The Punjab unit of the Congress will hold a huge protest at Delhi’s border in Shambhu, reports The Indian Express.
7.52 pm: Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad claims there is proof that the ongoing farmers’ protest has been overtaken by the “tukde tukde gang”, reports India Today.
7.49 pm: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar says some “anti-social elements” are conspiring to spoil the atmosphere of the farmers’ movement, reports PTI. He appeals to the protesting farming community to be vigilant against their platform being misused.
7.48 pm: BJP National General Secretary Tarun Chugh claims that a “misleading and deceptive narrative” is being created on the new farm laws due to which “gross misunderstanding” has spread among farmers, reports PTI.
6.50 pm: Balbir S Rajewal, Bharatiya Kisan Union chief, says that farmers’ will block the Delhi-Jaipur road on Saturday, reports ANI. “On December 14, we’ll stage sit-in protest in front of DC offices, houses of BJP leaders and block Reliance/Adani toll plazas,” he adds. “No program to stop trains. Number of farmers coming here is increasing.”
5.44 pm: According to NDTV, the Delhi police have filed cases against a group of farmers who had been protesting at a traffic signal at the Singhu border point between Delhi and Haryana over the last few days.
5.40 pm: Reports, citing sources, say that the BJP has planned to hold nationwide programmes to highlight the benefits of three farm laws.
4.01 pm: Actor Dharmendra says he is extremely pained to see the suffering of the farmers and urges the Centre to do something about it fast.
3.54 pm: Delhi Traffic Police says Singhu, Auchandi, Piau Maniyari and Mangesh Pur borders as well as National Highway 44 are closed. It advises commuters to take alternate routes through Lampur, Safiabad, Saboli and Singhu school toll tax borders. “Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba & GTK road,” it says. “Please avoid Outer Ring Rd, GTK road, NH 44.”
3.50 pm: Nationalist Congress party chief Sharad Pawar asks the Centre not to test the tolerance of farmers protesting against the farm laws, reports PTI. He also says that the protest at Delhi’s borders may spread elsewhere if no timely decision was taken by the Centre on the farmers’ demands.
3.18 pm: Farmers’ body Bharatiya Kisan Union moves Supreme Court challenging the three agriculture laws, reports ANI. The union claims that the laws will make farmers “vulnerable to corporate greed.”
2.44 pm: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar reiterates government is ready to talk with the farmers, reports ANI.
“They [farmers] should leave agitation and take the path of discussion,” says Tomar.
2.32 pm: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar says the proposal on possible changes to farm laws sent to the protesting farmers is still with them and they have not replied to that yet, reports ANI.
“We came to know through media that they have rejected the proposal,” Tomar says.
12.37 pm: Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala says he will ensure that the farmers get minimum support price for their crops as long as he is in office, ANI reports. “I will resign when I’m unable [to provide MSP],” he adds.
12.28 pm: The Bharatiya Janata Party says it will hold 700 press conferences and meetings across the country on the new farm bills in the coming days, ANI reports. The events will begin from Friday.
11.18 am: Bhartiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait says that the government should repeal the farm laws and then the farmers will return home, reports ANI.
11.11 am: Charity service from Amritsar provides meals to protesting farmers at Ghazipur border. “There’s no count of people who’re fed,” says a member of the charity. “From 5am-9pm, we serve food. We’ll continue until govt [government] listens to farmers.”
10.47 am: Members of Kisan Mazdoor Sangarsh Committee start their journey to Delhi to join the farmers’ protest, reports ANI. “Around 700 tractor trolleys are moving towards Delhi’s Kundli border,” says Kisan Mazdoor Sangarsh Committee member SS Pandher says.
8.52 am: The Shiromani Akali Dal on Thursday asked the Centre why it was “standing on prestige” to revoke the farm laws, when it was willing to change the controversial clauses of the legislations, reports The Hindu.
“After all, if you are conceding all the demands of the farmers, why not put it all in the new Act and end the debate once and for all?” the party said in a resolution passed at its core committee meeting, presided over by its president Sukhbir Singh Badal.
8.47 am: Farmer union leaders said they have not “shut the doors” for talks over the new agricultural laws, but the government must come up with a “concrete proposal”, reports The Hindu.
Addressing a press conference at the Singhu border, Bharatiya Kisan Union President Balbir Singh Rajewal said that proposals sent by the government on Wednesday were discussed several times before and there was nothing new in them.
8.34 am: Farmers continue their protest at Tikri border.
8.33 am: The Delhi Police say that two officers – a deputy commissioner of police and and additional deputy commissioner of police, at the Singhu border have tested positive for coronavirus, reports ANI.
8.30 am: Here are the top updates from Thursday
- After farmers’ unions rejected the Centre’s written proposal, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday said the Centre was ready to address the farmers’ concerns about the new agricultural laws. He reiterated that the minimum support price will not be affected.
- All India Kisan Sabha General Secretary Hannan Mollah criticised Union minister Raosaheb Danve’s claims about the protestors. The minister had alleged that Pakistan and China had incited the protesting farmers in the same way that Muslims in India were provoked to agitate against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
- Several Bharatiya Janata Party politicians have called the farmers “misguided” and alleged they have “Khalistani and Maoist” links, without providing evidence to support their claims.
- Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut mocked Union minister Raosaheb Danve for his comment that China and Pakistan were behind the farmers’ protests against the Centre’s three agricultural laws. Raut said that the Narendra Modi government should immediately conduct a surgical strike on the two neighbouring countries if it had any such information.