Watch: Farmers walk out of Centre’s meeting over absence of minister
Farmers' organizations from Punjab on Wednesday boycotted a meeting called by the Union agriculture ministry to resolve their concerns over new farm laws and accused the government of playing double standards with no minister present to hear them out.
Representatives from 29 farmers' organizations, including Joginder Singh-led Bharati Kissan Union, were miffed at the absence of Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Minister of State for Agriculture in the meeting.
The meeting was convened at the Krishi Bhavan amid police security to avoid any protest.
After the meeting, agitated farmers' representatives were seen shouting slogans and tearing copies of new farm laws outside Krishi Bhavan.
More than 30 representatives, who had come in a bus, were mostly senior citizens but had not even worn face masks despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday engaged in a war of words over farmers' Delhi Chalo march against the Centre's farm laws. While Singh slammed Khattar for stopping farmers from moving towards the national capital, terming it as "totally undemocratic and unconstitutional", the latter told the Punjab chief minister to stop "inciting innocent farmers". Farmers from Punjab faced water cannons and broke police barriers at the state’s border with Haryana as they pushed towards the national capital Thursday on their “Delhi Chalo” march against the Centre’s farm laws. By late evening, a large group of them had reached the road toll plaza at Panipat, about 100 km from Delhi. Bhartiya Kisan Union (Haryana) leader Gurnam Singh said the protesters planned to spend the night there and will resume the march the next morning.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 04:05Published
Over 'Delhi Chalo' protest march over recently enacted farm laws, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on November 26 said that "Constitution offers freedom of speech and freedom of expression to everyone." "Constitution offers freedom of speech and freedom of expression. The farmers here are agitating against the bills that they (Centre) have brought. You can't stop a person going to your capital city where Parliament is and expressing their views. Why are you stopping them? Stopping farmers is going against the Constitutional spirit and freedom of speech of this country. I think the Haryana government should have allowed them to go and Delhi government should give them space to go and sit down to present their point. If you try to stop them (farmers) then every reaction has a counter reaction," said CM Captain Amarinder Singh.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar appealed to farmers who are carrying out "Dilli Chalo" march to stop the protest. "I want to appeal to our farmer brothers to not agitate. We're ready to talk about issues and resolve differences," said Agriculture Minister Tomar. "I'm sure that our dialogue will have a positive result," he added. Farmer associations are enroute Delhi from Haryana and Punjab to protest against recently enacted farm laws.
The Union government continued its attempts to try and convince farmers that 3 recently passed agriculture reform laws are in their interest. Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met farmers as protests against the legislation continued. Representatives of NITI Aayog, NAFED, Ayurvet, and National Seed Association were reportedly present at the meeting. Meanwhile, demonstrations like 'rail roko' by farmers continued, especially in Punjab. Farmers fear that the new laws are a precursor to the scrapping of the minimum support price (MSP) regime. The government has denied any such intentions, claiming that the reforms aim to liberate farmers from the grip of middlemen and mandis. Watch the full video for more.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 03:08Published
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting regarding India's vaccination strategy. PM virtually met officials including foreign secretary, NITI Aayog member. Cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba and..
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 03:20Published