Farmers shout slogans at the demonstration site during the ongoing farmers’ protest against the new farm laws …Read More
on Monday hit back at Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar and said that governments change when crowds gather. He was replying to the minister’s comment that mere gathering of crowds does not lead to revocation of laws.
Meanwhile, while Tikait will address rallies in Madhya Pradesh, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal-led
Aam Aadmi Party
(AAP) will hold ‘kisan mahasammelan’ in Punjab in March.
Here are the day’s key developments:
1. Tikait, who has held a series of ‘kisan mahapanchayats’ in Haryana this month, has warned that the centre could find it difficult to stay in power if the new agri-marketing laws are not repealed. The farmers’ stir against the laws will continue till the time the centre accepts their demands of repealing the legislations, Tikait said while addressing a farmers’ ‘mahapanchayat’ at Kharkhoda in the state’s Sonipat district. On Sunday, Tomar had in Gwalior said the centre was ready to talk to the farmers protesting against the new laws, and that mere gathering of crowd does not lead to revocation of legislation. He had urged the agitating farm unions to tell the government which provisions in these new laws they find anti-farmer. Hitting back at Tomar for his remark, Tikait said, “The minister says that mere gathering of crowd does not lead to revocation of legislation… They have lost their mind. When crowds gather governments get changed,” he told the farmers’ gathering.
2. Tikait will address rallies on March 8 in Madhya Pradesh to drum up support against the centre’s new
, a functionary of his outfit said. He will address farmer rallies in Sheopur, Rewa and Dewas, MP BKU general secretary Anil Yadav said. Incidentally, there is an arrest warrant pending against Tikait in connection with a 2012 attempt to murder and rioting case in the state’s Anuppur district, said police officials. Tikait had led a BKU protest against a power plant in Jaithari area, which turned violent, leading to injuries to policemen and torching of vehicles, they added. Over 100 people, including Tikait, were arrested under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with armed weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC, an official said. “However, after being released on bail in 2012, Tikait failed to appear before court for subsequent hearings, after which an arrest warrant was issued against him in 2016. We will take necessary action on the arrest warrant,” Anuppur Superintendent of Police Mangilal Solanki said.
3. Punjab’s main opposition party AAP said it will organise a ‘kisan mahasammelan’ in Moga district on March 21 in support of the ongoing farmers’ agitation against the centre’s contentious agri-marketing laws. Party’s national convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will be invited to attend the event, it said. “AAP has decided to hold a ‘kisan mahasammelan’ at Bagha Purana in Moga on March 21 in order to further strengthen the ongoing farmers’ agitation,” party MP Bhagwant Mann said. He said farmers from across Punjab will be invited to participate in the event. AAP has been vocal about its support for the farmers’ agitation. Kejriwal is set to address a ‘kisan mahapanchayat’ in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut on February 28 in support of the protest.
4. After taking out a tractor rally in his Lok Sabha constituency Wayanad in solidarity with the agitating farmers, Congress leader
said agriculture is the only business that belongs to “Bharat Mata” and called upon the people to “force” the government to take back three farm laws brought the BJP-led central government. “The entire world can see the difficulties faced by Indian farmers. But the government in Delhi is unable to understand the pain of the farmers,” Gandhi said addressing a meeting organised after the six kilometre tractor rally between Thrikkaipatta to Muttil in the hill district. “We have pop stars who are commenting on the situation of Indian farmers but the Indian government is not interested. They are not going to take back three laws unless they are forced,” the Wayanad MP said. Stating that agriculture is the biggest business in the country worth Rs 40 lakh crore and it is owned by millions and millions of Indians, the Congress leader said, “agriculture is the only business that belongs to Bharat Mata” and a few people want to own this business.
5. With a target of making Uttar Pradesh ”atma-nirbhar (self-dependent)”, the
government presented a Rs 5,50,270.78 crore budget for 2021-22 in the state assembly with a focus on the agriculture sector. In view of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, an outlay of Rs 100 crore has been proposed for Atma Nirbhar Krishak Samanvit Vikas Yojana in the year 2021-22. Outlay of Rs 600 crore has been proposed for the Mukhyamantri Krishak Durghatna Kalyan Yojana. A provision of Rs 700 crore has been made for free water facility to farmers. A provision of Rs 400 crore has been made to provide crop loan to farmers at concessional rates. A target of setting up 15 thousand solar pumps in the financial year 2021-22 has been fixed. As far as agriculture is concerned, a target has been fixed for food grain production of 644 lakh MT and oil seeds production of 13 lakh MT in the financial year 2021-2022. For the year 2020-2021, Kharif production target of 223 lakh MT, Rabi target of 417 lakh MT and oilseed target of 12 lakh MT is set. The target of distribution of 62 lakh 50 thousand quintal seeds is proposed in 2021-2022.
6. RJD leader
drove a tractor to reach the Bihar assembly in an expression of solidarity with those opposing the farm laws and protest against spiralling rise in prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas. The leader of the opposition also flayed the Nitish Kumar government in the state for keeping mum on the issue of oil price rise and claimed that agriculturists in Bihar were often forced to sell their produce at rates less than half of the MSPs because of the abolition of agricultural produce market committees (APMCs). Yadav’s tractor ride, in which he was joined by some party colleagues including RJD national general secretary and MLA Alok Mehta, began at his residence, right across the road from the chief minister’s bungalow. “We expect a proper statement from chief minister Nitish Kumar on the skyrocketing prices of oil which he has acknowledged but stopped short of commenting on. He must also explain what have the farmers gained by abolition of APMCs in Bihar. Many cultivators are forced to sell their produce for Rs 700-800 as against the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1800,” Yadav told reporters.
7. A Delhi court sent 21-year-old climate activist
, arrested in connection with allegedly being involved in sharing a “toolkit” on social media related to the farmers’ protest, to one-day police custody. Chief metropolitan magistrate Pankaj Sharma allowed custodial interrogation of Ravi after police said she was required to be confronted with co-accused. Ravi was produced before the court on expiry of her three-day judicial custody. The court on Friday had sent her to judicial custody after police had said her custodial interrogation was not required for the time being. The agency had said that it would seek her further custodial interrogation once co-accused – Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk – join the interrogation on February 22. Ravi was arrested by Delhi police on February 13 from Bengaluru.
8. Lawyer Nikita Jacob and engineer Shantanu Muluk joined the probe in connection with the toolkit case and were questioned at the Delhi Police’s cyber cell office in Dwarka, a senior police officer said. The Delhi Police, probing the “toolkit Google doc” backing the farmers’ agitation shared by climate activist Greta Thunberg, had arrested Bengaluru-based activist Disha Ravi while Jacob and Muluk were granted pre-arrest bail by a court. “Both Jacob and Muluk were served notice to join the probe and are currently being quizzed in connection with their alleged role in the toolkit case,” the officer said.
(With agency inputs)
News is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Newsfunda