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Farmers agree for talks with govt on Dec 30, but firm on demand for repeal of laws | Developments

Farmer unions have agreed to hold talks with the Centre on December 30 in Delhi to discuss the three new farm laws and the ongoing protest.

Farmer unions have agreed to hold talks with the Centre on December 30 in Delhi to discuss the three new farm laws and the ongoing protest.

Abhimanyu Kohar, a member of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha — an umbrella body of 40 unions protesting against the contentious legislations — said the farmers have agreed to go for the meeting on the date proposed by the Centre.
Bhartiya Kisan Union (Daoba) general secretary Satnam Singh Sahani also told India Today TV that they will be participating in the meeting on December 30 and will once again put forward their demands regarding the new farm laws.
Sources associated with the farmer unions have told India Today TV that they will once again demand the government to repeal all three new farms laws, else the agitation will continue.
Centre has invited around 40 farmer unions for 7tth round of talks on December 30 over the deadlock.
Meanwhile, amid the farmers’ stir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the 100th ‘Kisan Rail’ and once again asserted that his government will continue to work to strengthen the farmers.


Talks between farmers and govt on December 30
Protesting farmer unions Monday agreed “in-principle” to a government proposal of holding the next round of talks on the new agricultural laws on December 30, but said the Centre should have spelt out the agenda of the meeting in its invite.
Abhimanyu Kohar, a member of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha — an umbrella body of 40 unions protesting against the contentious legislations — said the farmers have agreed to go for the meeting on the date proposed by the Centre.
The farmers’ acceptance of the proposal came hours after the Centre sent them a letter suggesting December 30 as the date for the dialogue, against December 29 the protesting unions wanted.

“In our letter sent to the government on December 26, we had clearly mentioned that repeal of three farm laws and legal guarantee for MSP should be part of the agenda for fresh talks, but despite this, the government in letter today has not mentioned any specific agenda,” Kohar told news agency PTI.
Talks between farmers and the central government were earlier scheduled to take place on December 29, however, on Monday, the date was shifted to December 30.
The farmers want the meeting to be on four specific agendas — Modalities to be adopted for the repeal of the three Central farm Acts, mechanisms to be adopted to make remunerative MSP recommended by the National Farmers’ Commission into a legally guaranteed entitlement for all farmers and all agricultural commodities, amendments to be made and notified in the Commission for the Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance, 2020 to exclude farmers from the penal provisions of the Ordinance and changes to be made in the draft Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 to protect the interest of the farmers.
Sources said that the government has indicated its willingness to discuss all agenda items proposed by farmers.


Will continue to strengthen farmers, says PM Modi while flagging off 100th Kisan Rail
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday flagged off the 100th “Kisan Rail” from Sangola in Maharashtra to Shalimar in West Bengal via video-conferencing.
Flagging off the ‘Kisan Rail‘ amid the farmers’ protest, PM Modi asserted that his government has undertaken historic reforms in the farm sector to boost agriculture and strengthen farmers.
PM Modi said his government’s policies are clear and intentions transparent in reforming the agriculture sector. “It will continue to work to strengthen farmers and agri sector with full force and dedication,” he said.

The ‘Kisan Rail’, a service started by his government, will help small and marginal farmers, who are over 80 per cent of the peasantry, in supplying their produce to far-off markets, the prime minister said, adding that a big demand for its services led to a rise in its frequency.
This will also help boost the income of farmers, he added.


Kerala Governor gives assent to convene special assembly session to discuss farm laws
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Monday morning gave assent to convene a special assembly session. The Governor cleared the recommendation by the state cabinet to convene a session on December 31 to discuss the three contentious farm law.
This has been a flashpoint between Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and the Kerala government after the former refused to give assent to the first recommendation.

The first recommendation by the cabinet for a special assembly on December 23 was not cleared by the Governor. After this, the cabinet gave a fresh recommendation last week, which has now been cleared by the Governor. The session will be held to discuss and pass a resolution against the farm laws.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had written a letter to Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, specifying the need for an assembly session in short notice. In response to this, the Governor also shot a letter back, pointing out the reasons for not giving his assent.


BJP corners Kejriwal as Delhi CM ignores Manoj Tiwari invite on farm laws
The BJP on Sunday hit out at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for opposing the new farm laws with the party leaders Adesh Gupta and Manoj Tiwari asking the AAP chief to fix a date and place of his choice where the “benefits of the legislations” could be explained to him.
This comes after Arvind Kejriwal ignored Manoj Tiwari’s Saturday’s invite to his residence on Mother Teresa Crescent Road to clear his “doubts” on the laws.
Manoj Tiwari said he was waiting for the chief minister at his residence at 3 pm on Sunday.
After Kejriwal did not come, Manoj Tiwari said the AAP leader was “misleading” the farmers.
Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta, who was also with Tiwari at his residence, said since Arvind Kejriwal could not come at the BJP MP’s residence, he may select any place and time where the benefits of the three legislations could be explained to him.
Adesh Gupta also claimed that for “publicity stunt”, Kejriwal showed his “petty mentality” by tearing down copies of the new farms in the Delhi Assembly.

Punjab CM Amarinder, Akali Dal lambast BJP leader Tarun Chugh for branding farmers ‘urban Naxals’
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on Sunday asked the BJP not to malign the state’s farmers by branding them ‘urban Naxals’ or ‘khalistani elements’. The Congress leader’s statement was a response to BJP general secretary Tarun Chugh who alleged that protesting farmers who disconnected power to telecom towers in Punjab were ‘urban Naxals’.
“If the BJP cannot distinguish between anguished citizens fighting for their survival and hooligans, it should give up all pretense of being a people’s party,” said Amarinder Singh. Referring to instances of farmers protesting in BJP-ruled states such as Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, the Punjab CM asked, “Do the farmers protesting in all these places look like Naxals to you? And does that mean law and order has collapsed everywhere?”

While alleging that the ongoing agitation is the result of the central government’s shortcomings, Amarinder Singh said farmer leaders had appealed to protesters not to disconnect power to mobile towers. He went on to say that the incidents reported from Punjab were a spontaneous manifestation of the anger of farmers.


Over 1,500 telecom towers damaged by agitating farmers in Punjab, services hit
Protesting farmers have destroyed more than 1,500 telecom towers in Punjab during their agitation against the Centre’s farm laws that has been going on for over a month now. This has disrupting services in some pockets, sources said.
Power supply to towers that relay telecom signals was reportedly snapped and cables cut in several parts of the state as farmers vented their anger on the infrastructure owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s firm Jio as they saw him along with infrastructure tycoon Gautam Adani as major beneficiaries of the new laws.

“Till yesterday, 1,411 towers were damaged and today the count has gone well past 1,500,” a source with knowledge of the matter told news agency PTI.
The damages made to telecom towers have impacted telecom services and operators are struggling to maintain services in absence of action by law enforcement agencies, the source said.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has directed police to take action against those vandalising mobile towers in the state.

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