Mega protests by farmers were seen on the day the Parliament's Upper House cleared two of three contentious agriculture-related bills. The Rajya Sabha passed the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 could not be taken up. Meanwhile, farmers - especially in Punjab and Haryana - blocked roads and highways, took out tractor rallies, and sat on dharnas, to oppose the new legislation which they believe will render the minimum support price (MSP) scheme ineffective and leave them at the mercy of big farmers and corporates. Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the government's outreach, and said that the MSP system is safe and the new legislations only aim to provide futuristic technology to farmers while freeing them from the grip of middlemen. However, there are some farmers who are not part of the agitation and support the bills. Watch the full video to know what they are saying.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 03:27Published
Farmers of Maharashtra's Dhule district welcomed the new agriculture reform bills. The bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha today amid oppositions' ruckus. One of the farmers said, "The Bills introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Modi government has removed all the compulsions that farmers have had for so long. Now we can sell our harvests all over the country."
Congress Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Ahmed Patel attacked BJP-led Modi government saying that farm bills passed in Rajya Sabha goes against democratic processes and amounts to killing democracy. "This day will go down in history as 'black day'. The way these bills have been passed goes against democratic processes and amounts to killing democracy. 12 opposition parties have moved a no-confidence motion against Rajya Sabha Dy Chairman," said Patel.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Bhupender Yadav lashed out at opposition's behavior in the Rajya Sabha, earlier in the day on September 20 during the discussion of the agriculture bills. Yadav called it a shameful act and demanded an apology for the misconduct. Bhupender Yadav said, "It is unfortunate, especially tearing the ruling book, breaking the mic, standing on the tables, what kind of behavior is this, what kind of democracy is it? They should apologies for their misconduct in the house. It is a shameful act."
BJP president of Kerala, K Surendran on September 20 said that the state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is playing a "very dirty" communal politics in the gold smuggling case and he is trying to cover up the smuggling case. He said, "CM Pinarayi Vijayan is playing a very dirty communal politics in the gold smuggling case. He said y'day that Holy Quran and sentiments of minority (Muslims) are the main issues in Kerala. He is trying to cover up the smuggling case with Holy Quran."
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research on September 20 informed that Drugs Controller General of India has approved CSIR's paper-based testing kit called Feluda for COVID-19. CSIR, Director General S Mande said, "Our Delhi CSIR lab's been working on studying CRISPR-Cas immunity. They have experience of working in this particular area before COVID-19 and could repurpose the thing for COVID and developed a paper-based testing kit called Feluda and got formal approval from DCGA. Mande further explained the functioning of the paper based test. "It's different as RTPCR detects RNA and amplifies it using a polymerase chain reaction that is costly. This paper-based test also detects RNA but by a CRISPR guided system. The paper lights up if there is any virus RNA to show a sample is positive, in 45 minutes," he added.
Ahead of farmers 'road roko' protest against new farm bills, security has been tightened up at Sadopur Border in Ambala. Superintendent of Police, Abhishek Jorwal said, "Road have been diverted ahead of protest call. We have received extra five companies. They (protesters) have planned to go Delhi via tractors."
Criticising Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for opposing central government's farm bills, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij said the former's job is to incite outrage among people. He further asked Kejriwal to point out the exact provision of new agriculture bills that give advantage to corporates. Anil Vij informed that all previous restrictions on farmers of having to sell their produce to specific places under set conditions will be removed. "As made clear by the Prime Minister, MSPs and all Mandis will stay. All farmers wishing to sell their produce at such rates to such places can still do so. But others will be able to sell their produce to whomsoever and where ever they'd want," he added.
Members of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha held a protest march in Thiruvananthapuram against state Minister KT Jaleel. They demanded resignation of state Minister KT Jaleel over his alleged involvement in the Gold smuggling case. They staged protest in Thiruvananthapuram on Sep 15.
A 28-year-old unemployed youth allegedly took his own life near Neyyattinkara in Thiruvananthapuram on August 30. This incident spiked a protest in Thiruvananthapuram. BJP Yuva Morcha protested against government and PSC after a youth allegedly committed suicide. Water cannons were open at the protestors. The Yuva Morcha has announced a demonstration before the PSC headquarters later in the day.
Shaheen Bagh social activist Shahzad Ali, who had protested against the Citizenship Amendment Act, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on August 16 in presence of Delhi BJP President Adesh Gupta and leader Shyam Jaju. Shahzad Ali said, "I have joined BJP to prove wrong those in our community who think BJP is our enemy. We'll sit together with them over CAA concerns."Several other members of Muslim community also joined the party in the event. The Shaheen Bagh protest was launched in December last year to oppose Citizenship Amendment Act. The anti-CAA protests were called-off in March after a nationwide lockdown was imposed in light of COVID-19 pandemic.
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale reacted to Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan's Rajya Sabha speech. In her speech, Bachchan had slammed BJP MP and Bollywood actor Ravi Kishan. Athawale said that Kishan highlighted the drug issue from his experience in the film industry. Backing Kishan, Athawale added that the BJP MP just said the truth. "Ravi Kishan highlighted drug issue from his experience in film industry. To save the industry we need to make it drug free. What Jaya Bachchan said is also not incorrect. However, the matter is not about defaming the film industry. Not all, but many people in Bollywood take drugs. Ravi Kishan just raised the issue and said this should be stopped. Rhea Chakraborty, a few others have also been arrested by NCB. Ravi Kishan just spoke the truth," the union minister said.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 02:32Published
Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale on September 15 reacted on Samajwadi Party Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan's speech in which she slammed BJP RS MP and Bollywood actor Ravi Kishan. Backing Kishan, he said that he highlighted drug issue by his knowledge and experience in the film industry. Athawale asserted on Bachchan's 'conspiracy to defame film industry' remark and said that this is not an issue to defame film industry and what Ravi Kishan has said most of the celebrities do drug abuse and should be stopped. "It's not the matter to defame film industry, Ravi Kishan has raised issue to perfecting the industry," he said. Recently, Jaya Bachchan said in Rajya Sabha, "People in the entertainment industry are being flogged by social media. People who made their names in the industry have called it a 'gutter'. I completely disagree. I hope that government tells such people not to use this kind of language. Just because there are some people, you cannot tarnish the image of the entire industry. I am ashamed that yesterday one of our members in Lok Sabha, who is from the film industry, spoke against it. It is a shame."