Farmer unions on Thursday evening rejected the Centre’s proposal to suspend the implementation of the three laws for 1.5 years. They once again demanded a full repeal of the legislations.
The Supreme Court-appointed panel to help resolve the deadlock over the agricultural laws on Thursday began its consultation and held talks with with 10 farmers’ organistions from eight states.
Meanwhile, the second round of meeting between the police and farmer unions regarding the proposed tractor rally on Republic Day remained inconclusive. Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav said the police wanted the farmer leaders to take out their tractor rally outside the national capital. “We will do our parade peacefully inside Delhi,” he added.
The Supreme Court had on Wednesday said it was up to the police to decide whether or not to give permission for the proposed tractor rally. The court was hearing the Centre’s petition seeking an injunction on the proposed rally.
The Centre on Wednesday night agreed to suspend the implementation of the three contentious farm laws for one-and-a-half years, and offered to convey it to the Supreme Court in an affidavit. The government also proposed to form a committee for suggestions on whether the three new laws should be amended or repealed. The farmers’ union will meet at the Singhu border on Thursday to discuss the Centre’s proposals, and will reply on Friday.
Here are the top updates of the day:
11.11 pm: Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav says Opposition alliance in Bihar will hold a Kisan Jagriti Saptaah (farmers awareness week) against the agriculture laws, reports PTI. The programme will start on January 24, birth anniversary of former Chief Minister Karpoori Thakur, and conclude with a state-wide human chain on January 30.
9.40 pm: Jagjit Singh Dallewal of Bharatiya Kisan Union says the meeting of farmer unions is still going on and no decision has been taken yet about the Centre’s proposal, according to ANI.
8.45 pm: Farmer leader Joginder S Ugrahan says that unions will convey to the government during Friday’s meeting that they only want withdrawal of the laws, and legal guarantee be provided for minimum support price for farm products, reports ANI.
8.42 pm: The statement by Sankyukt Kisan Morcha also says a three-day big protest in Kolkata will take place from January 20 to January 22. “Thousands of people are participating in this huge event,” it adds. “It is also expected to intensify the protest in the coming days.”
8.40 pm: Krantikari Kisan Union leader Darshan Pal says in the statement that the farmers protesting at Delhi borders will not go back unless the controversial legislations are repealed by the Narendra Modi government.
“This peaceful movement is becoming people’s movement and getting nationwide,” he adds. “Farmers are uniting for Republic Day through vehicle rallies in many places in Karnataka. Farmers tractor marches are taking place in many places in Kerala.”
8.35 pm: The Samyukt Kisan Morcha issues a press statement. “In a full general body meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha today, the proposal put forth by the Government yesterday, was rejected,” it reads. “A full repeal of three central farm acts and enacting a legislation for remunerative MSP for all farmers were reiterated as the pending demands of the movement.”
8.27 pm: Rakesh Tikait, who heads one faction of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, tells The Hindu that the farm unions have decided to reject the government’s proposal. “We don’t want a suspension of the three laws just for 1.5 years,” he adds. “We want a full repeal.”
8.20 pm: The Sankyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farm unions leading protests at several Delhi border points, has rejected the Centre’s proposal to suspend the implementation of the three contentious farm laws for 1.5 years, reports ANI. At a general body meeting, a repeal of the legislations and remunerative Minimum Support Price for all farmers was reiterated as their demands.
6.02 pm: The Supreme Court-appointed committee to help resolve the deadlock over the agricultural laws says it interacted and held consultations with 10 farmers’ organistions from eight states, reports PTI.
4.30 pm: The Punjab government gives Rs 5 lakh each to families of the four farmers from Ludhiana who died during the protest against the Centre’s farm laws, reports India Today.
4.24 pm: The committee formed by the Supreme Court to help resolve the deadlock over the agricultural laws requests farmers’ representatives to “give their views frankly” on the legislations, reports ANI.
3.04 pm: Teachers’ unions in Maharashtra will hold a protest against the farm laws at Azad Maidan in Mumbai on January 24, Hindustan Times reports. They will also march to the governor’s house the next day.
2.58 pm: The panel formed by the Supreme Court to help resolve the deadlock over the agricultural laws will begin consultations with the farmers’ groups from Thursday, Hindustan Times reports.
2.48 pm: Delhi Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic) Manish Agrawal refuses to give specific details of measures to be taken in view of the farmers’ rally on Republic Day. “To ensure the smooth conduction of the Republic Day parade is the job of the Delhi Police and we are committed to its consummation,” he says, according to ANI.
2.12 pm: The second round of meeting between the police and farmer unions regarding the proposed tractor rally on Republic Day remains inconclusive, reports PTI. Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav says the police want the farmer leaders to take out their tractor rally outside the national capital. “We will do our parade peacefully inside Delhi,” he adds. “They wanted us to hold the tractor rally outside Delhi, which is not possible.”
2.08 pm: There is a mass mobilisation in Punjab for the Republic Day tractor rally, reports The Hindu. “In all villages, bike and tractor rallies are being organised every day by our ground-level volunteers,” Amreek Singh, District Pradhan, Bharat Kisan Union- Jalandhar (Kadian), tells the newspaper. “They are going to every nook and corner to exhort those who are still at home to come out in support of the farmers and reach Delhi on January 26.”
2.06 pm: The Punjab government has sanctioned Rs 5 lakh compensation to the families of each of the four farmers who lost their lives during the protest against the farm laws, Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma tells PTI.
1.33 pm: Krantikari Kisan Union leader Darshan Pal says the government has told the protesting farmers that they cannot conduct their tractor rally on Delhi’s Outer Ring Road on Republic Day, citing security reasons, reports ANI. Pal adds that the farmers’ leaders would take up the matter with the Delhi Police on Friday in another meeting.
11.24 am: Thousands of tractors in four tiers with the first led by representatives of the 42 farmer groups and the second by women are expected to move out in a parade from several protest sites at Delhi’s borders on January 26, reports The Indian Express.
11 am: Delhi Joint Commissioner of Police SS Yadav arrives at Mantram resort near the Capital’s Singhu border for a meeting with farmers, reports ANI.
Here are the updates from Wednesday:
- The Narendra Modi government agreed to suspend the implementation of the three contentious farm laws for one-and-a-half years and offered to convey it to the Supreme Court in an affidavit. A representative of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, said the Centre was also willing to decide on a “mutually agreeable” time period, which may be more than the proposed 1.5 years, to freeze the implementation of the laws.
- The Supreme Court said that it was up to the Delhi Police to decide whether or not to give permission for the proposed tractor rally by farmers on Republic Day. The court was hearing the Centre’s petition seeking an injunction on the proposed rally.
- The Supreme Court also said that it was disappointed by the “unnecessary aspersions” cast on the expert panel that it had formed to address the farmers’ grievances about the agricultural laws.
- Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said that a person cannot be disqualified from being a member of a committee just because they have earlier expressed an opinion on the subject that is under consideration by the panel. He was indirectly referring to the four-member committee created by the Supreme Court to resolve the deadlock between protesting farmers and the Centre on three contentious agricultural laws.