Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s request to Governor VP Singh Badnore to postpone civic body polls in the state “on baseless ground of law and order situation” showed that the party was in panic amid the farmers’ protest. The elections are scheduled to take place next year.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said earlier in the day that he will quit politics if anyone tries to end the Minimum Support Price regime. Meanwhile, the Kerala Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution against the farm laws demanding that the Centre repeal the reforms even as the farmers’ protest at Delhi’s borders entered its 36th day.
Tens of thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, are protesting at the national Capital’s borders with Uttar Pradesh at Chilla and Ghazipur as they demand a repeal of the three contentious farm laws. The borders are shut for those travelling from Noida and Ghaziabad.
The protestors say the laws will dismantle regulated markets, and hurt their livelihoods by making them vulnerable to big corporations. They want the laws to be scrapped. The Centre has refused to address the demand of repealing the laws. It did, however, offer making amendments to certain sections along with a written guarantee on MSP.
On Wednesday, the Centre held the sixth meeting with farmers, following which it said that it has arrived at a consensus on two out of four matters flagged by the protestors.
Here are the top updates of the day:
10.27 pm: Many people have joined the farmers protesting against the Centre’s farm laws to ring in the New Year, reports the Hindustan Times.
“Last year, we had welcomed the new year at our university during the anti-CAA protests with songs of resistance and revolution,” says Huzaifa Khan, who recently graduated from Jamia. “We felt it was important to lend the same support to the farmers movement as they too have been fighting against state oppression.”
8.45 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh says the BJP’s request to the governor to postpone civic body polls “on baseless ground of law and order situation” showed that the party is in panic amid the farmers’ protest, PTI reports. The elections are scheduled to take place next year.
8.40 pm: : The Haryana Police use water cannons and tear gas on the group that broke the barricades at the Shahjahanpur border in an attempt to reach Delhi, PTI reports. The police say around 20 to 25 tractors broke through the barricades, according to The Indian Express.
7.27 pm: The protesting farmers enter Haryana after breaking a barricade at the state’s border with Rajasthan, ANI reports.
4.37 pm: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar says he will quit politics if someone tries to end the Minimum Support Price regime, reports ANI.
4.35 pm: Punjab Congress MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla writes to PM Narendra Modi, calling for action against those defaming non-government organisation Khalsa Aid, reports ANI.
2.18 pm: Singer Jazzy B celebrated his birthday with farmers to express solidarity with them, reports ANI. “I am going to celebrate New Year here with the farmers,” he says. “This is a great place to be here. I want to feel their energy. We will begin the new year with new resolutions.”
2.14 pm: Farmers’ leader Shivakumar Sharma says the agitation against the Centre’s farm laws would continue till the government repeals them, reports NDTV. “The government has offered to form a committee that will look into these demands,” he says. “Now the matter will be presented before our committee that takes collective decisions. The committee will decide if the same will be accepted or not.”
1.53 pm: Union minister V Muraleedharan says that if the Kerala government was so particular that every farmer should sell his produce as per Agricultural Produce Market Committee Act, the state should enact such a law, reports ANI. He adds that India has brought this law to give better remuneration to farmers.
“Kerala Assembly is doing a futile exercise because the law has been passed by Parliament,” he adds. “It is like going against the general view of the whole country.”
12.54 pm: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot criticises the Centre for not resolving the farm law matter, saying that the farmers are forced to spend the new year on roads.
“It is sad that our farmer brothers and sisters, who are protesting would welcome New Year out on roads and away from homes,” he tweets. “A sensitive, responsive government would never let this happen.”
12.42 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party MLA O Rajagopal opposes the resolution moved by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan against the Centre’s farm laws, reports News18. “Similar farm laws were promised by Congress in their poll manifesto,” Rajagopal says. “CPI(M) [Communist Party of India (Marxist)] also demanded to bring in such laws. Now, both parties are opposing it. Farmers shouldn’t be misguided.”
11.20 am: Kerala Assembly passes resolution against the three farm laws, ANI reports. The resolution says that genuine concerns of farmers must be addressed and that the Centre must withdraw all three legislations.
11 am: BJP MLA O Rajagopal opposes the resolution in the Kerala Assembly, ANI reports. “Similar farm laws were promised by Congress in their poll manifesto,” he says. “CPI (M) also demanded to bring in such laws. Now, both parties are opposing it. Farmers shouldn’t be misguided.”
9.56 am: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan moves a resolution against the farm laws in the state. Vijayan says the farmers’ protest would affect the state, reports ANI. He adds that people in Kerala would starve if the supply of food items from other states stops.
9.52 am: Kisan Ekta Morcha says that a tractor march, scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed. It adds that the march is not cancelled.
9.44 am: Farmers continued their protest against the farm laws at Delhi’s borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh as the agitation enters the 36th day, reports the Hindustan Times. The borders with Uttar Pradesh at Chilla and Ghazipur remain closed on Thursday for those coming from Noida and Ghaziabad.
Here are the top updates from Wednesday
- The Centre, after its sixth meeting with the farmers’ unions, said that it had arrived at consensus on two out of four matters flagged by them. Earlier in the meeting, the government said that it could form a committee to deliberate on their demands related to the agricultural laws.
- The Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal told farmers protesting against the agricultural laws that they should hold direct talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to get the legislations repealed.
- The Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government in Haryana suffered a setback in municipal elections amid the farmers’ agitation against the agricultural laws. The BJP-Jannayak Janata Party alliance lost the mayoral elections in Sonipat and Ambala.
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to protesting farmers to engage the government in a logical debate on every clause of the new agricultural legislations, and allow the administration “to do the needful to address their problems”.