Farmers on Tuesday threatened to completely block the Noida-Delhi border point at Chilla tomorrow. They camped out near Delhi for the 20th straight day and remain adamant on the demand that the Centre repeal the three laws.
This came hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the agriculture reforms are exactly what the farmers’ bodies and the Opposition parties wanted.
Tens of thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at key entry points to Delhi. The farmers fear the agricultural reforms will weaken the minimum support price mechanism under which the government buys agricultural produce, will lead to the deregulation of crop-pricing, deny them fair remuneration for their produce and leave them at the mercy of corporations.
As the farmers went on a hunger strike on Monday, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government was ready to discuss every clause of the three contentious farm laws with the protesting farmers. At least 10 organisations representing the farmers of several states met Tomar on Monday and extended their support to the contentious farm laws, even as thousands of others intensified their countrywide pushback against the legislations.
Read today’s top updates
8.35 pm: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar says that the government is willing to continue dialogue with “genuine” farm unions, according to PTI. He adds that the minimum support price system is an administrative decision and will continue as it is.
8.10 pm: Farmer leader Jagjeet Dallewal says that they are not against negotiations, but the government must come forward with concrete proposals, reports PTI.
8.05 pm: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar says that the farmers who met him today support the new farm laws, reports ANI. “They said that they are with the bills and the government,” he adds. “As some farmers are spreading misconception so they were also misled. When I spoke to them they clearly supported the bills.”
6.48 pm: “Government is saying they won’t repeal these laws, we are saying we will make you do it,” says farmer leader Jagjeet Dallewal.
6.45 pm: At a press conference, farmer leader Inderjeet says that the protest has reached a stage where farmers are determined to win it no matter what, according to PTI. Leaders say that they will completely block Chilla border, between Delhi and Noida, on Wednesday.
6.36 pm: Senior Haryana Police officers say that the situation at Delhi borders is “increasingly turning unsustainable” as more protestors join the farmers’ protest, reports The Indian Express.
6.33 pm: Ashutosh Gangal, General Manager of Northern Railway, tells ANI that they’ve incurred losses of roughly around Rs 2,000-2,400 crores due to the farmer’s protest.
6.30 pm: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor criticises Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cattle analogy to assure protesting farmers, where he said, “Tell me, if a dairy has a contract of collecting milk from you, do they take away your cattle too?”
“If the dairy has a market monopoly and lowers its buying price to increase the dairy’s profits, the farmer would not be able to afford to look after his cattle or his family well,” Tharoor says in response. “Tell us, PM Sahib, would you want the cattle to suffer?”
6.26 pm: Congress workers protest outside Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters in New Delhi to repeal farm laws, reports ANI.
5.09 pm: Farmers protesting against the new farm laws near Delhi borders say they have come “for the long haul” and are willing to sit on dharna for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “entire second term”, reports The Indian Express.
4.07 pm: The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India, an industry body, says the ongoing protests against the farm reform laws are dealing a big blow to the interconnected economies of the region, including Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, reports News18.
4.03 pm: Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal says the Bharatiya Janata Party is the read “Tukde Tukde gang” in the country. “Tukde-tukde gang” is a term used to target people the BJP and its supporters allege are out to balkanise India.
“It has smashed national unity to pieces, shamelessly inciting Hindus against Muslims & now desperate setting peace loving Punjabi Hindus against their Sikh brethren especially farmers,” Badal says in a tweet. “They’re pushing patriotic Punjab into communal flames.”
3.59 pm: The Delhi Traffic Police says both carriageways at Chilla Border on the Delhi-Noida route are are open for traffic now.
3.41 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the agriculture reforms are exactly what the farmers’ bodies and the opposition parties wanted, reports ANI. He adds that the Centre is committed to the welfare of the farmers and will keep assuring them and addressing their concerns, reports ANI.
The prime minister adds that these parties could not take the decision on the reforms during their governments but were now misleading the farmers.
2.34 pm: Union Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh questions Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on not opposing private companies engaged in contract farming with potato producers, reports ANI.
“I would like to ask Punjab CM that isn’t private companies making contracts with farmers to grow potatoes?” says SIngh. Did they usurp their land? Why didn’t you oppose this?”
2.29 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says new farm laws give capitalists the license to increase prices, reports The Indian Express.
12.39 pm: Adityanath adds that the farmers’ movement is seemingly pursuing the cause of the “tukde-tukde” gang. “Those who want to create unrest, anarchy and division in this country are now trying to misguide the farmers,” he says. “We appeal to protesting farmers to be open for dialgoue.”
“Tukde-tukde gang” is a term coined by the BJP to malign its critics as people working to balkanise India.
The UP chief minister also says that dialogue is the biggest tool in democracy.
12.34 pm: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath says the farmers’ protest is being hijacked by anti-national forces, News18 reports. He points to former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid’s posters being seen at the protests. “Anarchy in backdrop of farmer protest can’t be accepted,” he adds.
12.29 pm: Two farmers from Punjab die in a road accident while going back to Patiala from Delhi, PTI reports. Their tractor trolley was hit by a truck in Karnal district of Haryana.
12.15 pm: The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, the country’s top trade association, calls for an early resolution of the farmers’ crisis, saying that it is causing a daily loss of Rs 3,500 crore, ANI reports.
12.10 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet farmers in Gujarat’s Kutch district on Tuesday, during his visit to the area to inaugurate a renewable energy park and other projects, The Indian Express reports.
12.06 pm: The farmers sit-in protest at the Rajasthan-Haryana border continues for the third day on Monday, ANI reports. Rampal Jat from the Kisan Mahapanchayat says the three laws will businessmen and not the farmers.
12.04 pm: The Rapid Action Force is deployed at the Singhu border, ANI reports.
12.01 pm: Bharat Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait says the government should visit villages and hold meetings with the farmers, ANI reports. “Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar is also a farmer,” Tikait adds. “At what rate was his farm produce sold, was it sold at MSP [minimum support price]? Did he suffer loss or earned profit?
10.10 am: Union minister Nitin Gadkari says he doesn’t think social activist Anna Hazare will join the farmers’ protest, ANI reports. “We have not done anything against the farmers,” he says. “It is the right of farmers to sell their produce in [the] mandi, to traders or anywhere else.”
He adds: “I come from Vidarbha. Over 10,000 poor farmers committed suicide. This issue should not be politicised. Gadkari also says that the Centre is willing to make changes in the laws according to the farmers’ “correct” suggestions.
10 am: Here are some visuals from the Singhu border.
9.50 am: The farmers protest enters the 20th day.
9.40 am: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Punjab counterpart Amarinder Singh continued to trade barbs amid the protest on Monday.
Kejriwal had accused Singh of colluding with the Centre so that cases of alleged financial irregularities against his son could be withdrawn.
“Every Punjabi knows I am not one to be cowed down by any amount of false cases... they also know you will sell your soul if it serves your purpose,” Singh said in a tweet. “The whole world has seen how you sold off farmers’ interests by notifying one of the black laws. Why did you do that?”
Kejriwal responded: “You were part of the committee which drafted these Bills. These Bills are YOUR ‘gift’ to the nation. Captain sahib, why do BJP leaders never accuse u [you] of double standards the way they accuse all other leaders?”
9.35 am: All India Kisan Sangharsh Committee says that it is ready for talks with the Centre again but with certain conditions, Hindustan Times reports.
“The government [is] repeatedly dishing out old rejected logic,” All India Kisan Sangharsh Committee Secretary Avik Saha says. “Farmers are ready for talks, but the three Farm Acts and the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 have to be withdrawn.”
9.30 am: Social activist Anna Hazare on Monday warned the Centre that he would resume his hunger strike against its failure to implement the recommendations of the MS Swaminathan Commission, PTI reports.
Hazare had begun his fast in Maharashtra’s Ralegaon Siddhi village in 2019. He called off the fast after the then Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh assured him that the Centre would form a committee to implement the recommendations.
Here are the top updates from Monday
- The farmers sat on a hunger strike as their protest against the agricultural laws entered the 19th day. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also joined the fasting protestors.
- Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government was ready to discuss every clause of the three contentious farm laws with the protesting farmers.
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh made an attempt to placate the farmers, saying the government would never take “retrograde steps” that could possibly damage the rural economy and the agriculture sector.
- At least 10 organisations representing the farmers of several states met Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and extended their support to the contentious farm laws, even as thousands of others intensified their nationwide pushback against the legislations.
- Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray criticised the Centre for trying to defame the farmers’ protests against the government’s agricultural laws and said that labelling the protestors anti-national was “not our culture”.
- Tens of thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting at key entry points to Delhi. The farmers fear the agricultural reforms will weaken the minimum support price mechanism under which the government buys agricultural produce, will lead to the deregulation of crop-pricing, deny them fair remuneration for their produce and leave them at the mercy of corporations.