Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reiterated his earlier accusations against the Opposition about stoking the ongoing farmers’ protests. Reassuring the farmers, Modi said his government was willing to discuss the three reforms clause-by-clause, adding that farmers’ issues were his “top priority” and that he was ready “with folded hands and bowed head” to talk on every issue.
He said: “Even after my words and the efforts of the government, if someone has any concerns, then we are ready to bow our heads humbly and discuss the issues with folded hands, for the welfare of the farmers.” Modi also said the farmers should be wary of political parties that are trying to “manipulate and mislead” them for political gains.
Protester enacts ‘symbolic suicide’
With a noose tied around his neck, a 40-year-old farmer enacted a symbolic suicide on Friday as protesting farmers continued their demonstrations in Noida. Bir Singh Yadav from Bahlolpur village in Noida enacted the symbolic suicide at the Dalit Prerna Sthal where he has been camping along with scores of protesters belonging to the Bharatiya Kisan Union.
Tomar ‘hopes’ for solution
Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government is hopeful of resolving farmers’ agitation against three new farm laws before the New Year and is continuing its informal dialogue with various groups to diffuse the crisis.
In an interview with PTI, the minister asserted the three new farm laws are beneficial for farmers and the government is ready to give a written assurance that the minimum support price (MSP) and mandi system will continue.
BKU threatens to ‘plough’ its way to solution
Urging farmers to be a part of the next “kisan kranti ”, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait warned if the central government cannot find a solution to the deadlock over the three new farm laws, then the farmers will be forced to “plough their way to a solution”.
Addressing a gathering of farmers, Tikait urged them and all kisan unions across the country to “unite and join” the ongoing protests at the four border points of Delhi — Singhu, Tikri, UP Gate and Chilla.
Farmers may block roads to Dehradun
The BKU has warned of blocking road entry to Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand, if the Centre doesn’t roll back the three farm laws. A final decision on the exact date from which road passage will be blocked will be taken at a meeting on December 20 in Roorkee.
Volunteers launch ‘Trolley Times’
Amid the on-going stir at Singhu border, a group of volunteers has launched a newsletter named Trolley Times.
The bi-weekly newsletter aims at providing information to farmers with the latest developments in talks with the government. It has a QR code as well which can be scanned to read digitally.
BJP furnishes 106-page booklet
In an attempt to clear the “misconceptions” about the three farm laws, the BJP introduced a 106-page booklet, reiterating the MSP will not go away and that the farmers would be able sell in APMC mandi or outside depending on their choice.
Blow to Himachal industries
The impasse between the protesting farmers and the central government has severely affected trade, industry and consumers in Himachal Pradesh, which is completely dependent on Delhi for supplies. Managing director of Himachal Pradesh state civil supplies corporation Manasi Sahay Thakur has written to the state government about the disruption of the movement of the consumer-related goods.
He said: “Our vendors supplying hundreds of tonnes of essential items like pulses, salt, sugar, mustard oil, refined oil have represented their inability to dispatch the goods. The movement of the trucks, which is usually through Delhi from different states, including MP, Gujarat and Maharashtra, remain blocked.”
Smriti slams Cong
Union minister Smriti Irani, slamming the Congress-led Opposition for spreading rumours over the new farm laws, called the legislations a “historic step” for the farming community. She also shared how delegation after delegation of farmers were coming in support of the Centre’s laws with the latest being a farmers’ union from Uttar Pradesh.
Maharashtra’s farmers to march to Delhi
Farmers under the banner of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee will converge at Nasik on December 20 to join the farmers’ protest. From there, they will begin marching on December 21 led by Dr Ajit Nawale, secretary of the Maharashtra unit of All India Kisan Sabha. They will be joined by AIKS national president Ashok Dhawale at the borders of the capital, where the protesting farmers have been camping.
Sood’s heartfelt statement
Actor Sonu Sood on Friday said he is deeply saddened to see the plight of farmers protesting against the three new agri laws and hopes for a resolution to their issues.
He said: “It feels very sad. I do know there is a solution to every problem. I was born and brought up in Punjab, I have spent time with farmers and I believe Punjabi community can be convinced with love if we give them time.”
Modi’s ‘humble bow to farmers’ wins hearts
Modi’s offer that he was ready “with folded hands and bowed head” to talk on every issue related to the farm laws has won netizen’s hearts.