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Farmers will protest outside Parliament against farm bills: Haryana BKU leader

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Police stand guard near barricades as Bhartiya Kisan Union activists protest against three ordinances passed b…Read More

CHANDIGARH:

Bharatiya Kisan Union

leader Gurnam Singh on Tuesday said that farmers from Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan will hold a protest on Wednesday outside Parliament against the three farm-sector bills, introduced to ratify the three ordinances promulgated earlier.

The

BKU

leader from Haryana asserted that the farmer will not allow the government to go ahead with the “anti-farmers” move.

“Tomorrow, we will protest outside Parliament. We will wear black clothes during our protest. Farmers from Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan will take part in it,” Singh said.

The Centre on Monday introduced three bills in Lok Sabha to enact laws on the three farm-sector ordinances, with Union minister Tomar asserting that they will help farmers get a remunerative price for their produce as well as private investments and technology.

Tomar said the proposed laws will enable barrier-free trade in agricultural produce, and also empower farmers to engage with investors of their choice.

The three

farm sector bills

introduced by the Centre to replace the ordinances promulgated by the government earlier are ‘The Farmers’ Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill’, ‘The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill’ and ‘The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill’.

The opposition parties have alleged that the new laws will undermine the safety net provided to the farmers by the MSP system and will lead to their exploitation by big companies.

Talking of his plans to protest outside Parliament, Singh said he was to meet Union agriculture minister

Narendra Singh Tomar

as part of a farmers’ delegation in Delhi on Tuesday, but decided not to go ahead it at the last moment “after BJP MP Dharambir Singh told me that the Centre will not withdraw these ordinances”.

Haryana BJP chief Om Prakash Dhankar along with state agriculture minister J P Dalal and the three MPs who were part of the panel constituted to seek feedback from farmers, besides some farmers’ representatives, met Tomar in Delhi on Tuesday.

Dhankar who led the delegation apprised Tomar of the report prepared by the three-member committee.

An eight-point suggestion by the farmers was presented to Tomar in the shape of a memorandum, stipulating that the arrangements for the procurement of grain by the government from ‘mandis’ and the MSP mechanism should not be tinkered with.

Both Dhankar and Dalal later said the ‘mandis’ and the MSP mechanism were there to stay and those trying to spread “falsehood” in this regard were doing so out of their vested interests.

However, Gurnam Singh told reporters in Delhi that “if the three ordinances are implemented, the country will be destroyed.”

Singh claimed that only a few capitalists will gain under the new system leading to “exploitation of the farmers”.

On why he did not meet Tomar, Singh said, “We had been invited for talks with the Union minister Tomar and MP Dharambir Singh had extended the invite to us. When we met Dharambir Singh in the morning at his Delhi residence, he said the ordinances will not be withdrawn and the Centre’s stand remains unchanged.”

“We told him that in such a situation there is no meaning for talks after which we decided not to participate in the talks,” he added.

High drama was witnessed when heated arguments broke out between some farmers’ representatives as some decided to stay out of the meeting.

Gurnam Singh said, “An impression was being created that farmers’ bodies are not united and that some of them are supporting the government on these ordinances. I want to tell all concerned that in Haryana 17 farmers’ bodies have taken up the fight against these ordinances”.

“Five representatives from these 17 farmers’ organisations had come for talks and none among us went when we were told that the Centre will not change its stand.

“However, some (farmer leaders) who went for talks despite being told of the government’s stand on ordinances did so because of their vested interest. They were the ones who did not even take part in the Pipli agitation, they are trying to falsely project as if the government has agreed to their demands,” said Singh.

On Monday, the three-member committee of BJP MPs from Haryana had submitted a report after having a dialogue with farmers and seeking their feedback on the three-farm related ordinances, which have now been introduced as bills in Parliament.

Close on the heels of the BKU and other farmers’ organisations’ protest in Kurukshetra’s Pipli against the bill on farm ordinances on Thursday, Dhankar had constituted a three-member panel comprising BJP MPs Dharambir Singh, Brijendra Singh and Nayab Singh Saini.

The ruling BJP in Haryana has accused the opposition of trying to create doubt among farmers about the Centre’s three farm ordinances, now bills, for their political interests.

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

Farmers’ ‘victory’, Akali Dal had to bow before their doorstep: Congress

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NEW DELHI: Reacting to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) quitting the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over the farm bills issue, the Congress on Saturday said it was the “victory” of farmers that the Akali Dal had to bow before their doorstep and break ties with the ruling coalition.

The SAD is the third major party to walk out of the BJP-led coalition in the last couple of years.

Reacting to the development, Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala hailed it as a “victory” of “farmers-labourers”.

“Supporters of black laws, Akali Dal, had to leave NDA and break ties with the Modi government,” he said.

“They had to bow at the doorstep of farmers-labourers,” Surjewala tweeted, tagging an old clip of Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal defending the farm ordinances in an interview she gave when she was a Union minister.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said, “Clearly @Akali_Dal_ was left with no choice after @BJP4India exposed that @Officeofssbadal and his SAD were fully party to Anti-Farmer legislations.”

“The end of the coalition is only an outcome of 3 months of deceit…of defending the indefensible and misguiding the Punjab farmer,” he said.

आख़िर किसान-मज़दूर की जीत हुई,काले क़ानूनों के समर्थक अकाली दल को NDA छोड़ मोदी सरकार से रिश्ता तोड़ना पड़ा,कि… https://t.co/b4asoYTRBC

— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) 1601142951000

SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal announced the decision to snap ties with the NDA on Saturday night, amid stepped up agitation by farmers in Punjab over the three legislations which were recently passed by Parliament amid Opposition protests.

Badal’s wife and SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal had on September 17 quit the Union Cabinet after he strongly opposed the bills in Lok Sabha, claiming these legislations will “destroy” the agriculture sector in Punjab.

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After quitting govt, BJP’s ‘oldest ally’ Akali Dal walks out of NDA

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CHANDIGARH: Shiromani Akali Dal announced on Saturday night its decision to break its 24-year-old alliance with BJP less than 10 days after it pulled out of PM Narendra Modi’s government with the resignation of Harsimrat Kaur Badal over the passage of three agri-marketing bills in Parliament.

The alliance between SAD and BJP, formed just after the parliamentary elections of 1996, had increasingly seemed untenable as the party was facing immense pressure from its main vote base, the farmers, to completely cut ties with BJP. The party was on the backfoot in Punjab, where spontaneous protests against the agri-marketing bills led by farmers had the party worried about its future, especially as both the ruling Congress party and the opposition Aam Aadmi Party were highlighting the Badal family’s so-called reluctance to quit the alliance with BJP.

SAD’s decision to pull out of the National Democratic Alliance was decided unanimously at an emergency meeting of its core committee, the party’s highest decision-making body. After the three-hour meeting, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said his party was BJP’s oldest ally but the Modi government did not listen to it on honouring the sentiments of farmers. He described the three agri-marketing bills as “lethal and disastrous for the already beleaguered farmers”. The party said it had quit the alliance in protest against the three agri-marketing bills and the Centre’s “stubborn” refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of farmers’ crops at the MSP and for the Centre’s continued “insensitivity” towards the Punjabi language and issues of the Sikh community.

Shiromani Akali Dal core committee decides unanimously to pull out of the BJP-led #NDA because of the Centre’s stub… https://t.co/r92xKtDjQH

— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) 1601140927000

Promising to stand by its core principles of peace, communal harmony and guarding the interest of Punjab, Punjabi in general, and Sikhs and farmers in particular, Sukhbir said the decision was taken in consultation with the people of Punjab, especially party workers and farmers. In a direct attack on the BJP government at the Centre, Sukhbir said with successive decisions the central government had shown its “callous insensitivity” to minority sentiments and has been indifferent to peace and communal harmony in the country, especially in Punjab.

Even after quitting the Modi government, Sukhbir said the SAD had hoped that the Centre would not press on with these “murderous assaults” on farmers and other poor sections who depend on agriculture and trade. “It seems that BJP is totally out of touch with ground realities,” he said. Senior Akali leader Dr Daljit Cheema said the decision to snap ties was taken after much deliberation, adding that the three contentious bills were passed in an undemocratic manner and are being opposed in Punjab, Haryana and other states. “We had even requested President of India Ram Nath Kovind not to approve the bills passed by Parliament,” he said.

Criticising BJP for not paying heed to SAD’s repeated pleas not to force anti-farmer bills, SAD general secretary Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra said there was no point in continuing in the alliance.

Several Insets:

SAD’s Existential Crisis

SAD, which was formed in 1920 and will complete a century in December this year, is going through its worst existential crisis after it was relegated to third spot in the 2017 Punjab assembly election. The party had bagged only 18 seats while rookie AAP secured 20 seats.

Punjab BJP silent:

Despite repeated attempts, Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma was not available for comment after SAD pulled out of the alliance with the party. He will be addressing a press conference on Sunday, said a party spokesperson.

Desperate case of political compulsion: Amarinder

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has termed the Akali decision to quit the NDA as nothing more than a desperate case of political compulsion for the Badals, who, he said, were effectively left with no other option after BJP’s public criticism of SAD over the farm bills.

‘No alliance important before principles’

In Patiala on Saturday afternoon, Sukhbir Badal had indicated the possible snapping of ties with BJP just hours before the actual announcement when he said for his party no alliance was more important than principles. Claiming that his party was neither informed nor asked before passing the bills, he said SAD would not allow the end of the MSP regime.

“If Pain & Protests of 3 cr punjabis fail to melt the rigid stance of GoI, it’s no longer the #NDA envisioned by Vajpayee ji & Badal sahab. An alliance that turns a deaf ear to its oldest ally & a blind eye to pleas of those who feed the nation is no longer in the interest of Pb. (sic)”

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SAD walks out of NDA alliance

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CHANDIGARH: Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) oldest ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) walked out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition in protest against the three farm bills and for continues ‘insensitivity’ towards Punjabi language and issues pertaining to Sikh community.

Terming the bills anti-farmers and anti-Punjab, the core committee of the party decided unanimously to pull out of the BJP -led NDA alliance. The party held the centre’s “stubborn” refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of farmers crops on MSP and its continued insensitivity to Punjabi and Sikh issues like excluding Punjabi language as official language in Jammu and Kashmir the reasons for the decision.

Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the lone representative of the party in the Union Cabinet, had resigned on September 17.

The meeting was presided over by the SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal who said that SAD will continue to stand by its core principles of peace, communal harmony and guard the interest of Punjab, Punjabi in general and Sikhs and farmers in particular. He said that the decision has been taken in consultation with the people of Punjab especially party workers and farmers. Badal said that the bills on agricultural marketing brought by the BJP government are lethal and disastrous for the already beleaguered farmers.

He said the SAD was the oldest ally of the BJP, but the government did not listen to repeated pleas of honouring the sentiments of farmers. The SAD leader said that the party opposed these bills in the parliament and voted against them.

He said that even after quitting the union government, the SAD had hoped that the centre would not press on with these ” murderous assaults” on farmers and other poor sections who depend on agriculture and trade. “It seems that the BJP is totally out of touch with ground realities,” said Badal,

He said that despite our best efforts, the BJP government did not honour the sentiments of farmers. He said that the farmers are the backbone of the national economy and it is in the national interest that the government should stand by them. Adding, he said that with successive decisions, the present government has shown its callous insensitivity to minority sentiments and has been indifferent to the peace and communal harmony in the country, especially in Punjab.

Senior Akali leader Dr Daljit Cheema said that the decision has been taken after much deliberation. He further said that these bills were passed in an undemocratic manner and are being opposed in Punjab, Haryana and other states. “We had even requested President of India Ram Nath Kovind not to approve the bills passed by the parliament,” said Dr Daljit Cheema.

While slamming BJP for not paying heed to repeated pleas of SAD not to force anti-farmers bills, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra said that there is no point in continuing in alliance.

SAD had first forged an alliance with Bharatiya Jana Sangh, BJP’s predecessor, during state assembly elections in 1969. It later entered into coalition with BJP in 1997 during the state election. SAD joined BJP-led alliance at the centre in 1998.

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