The Supreme Court today said that it will hear all the petitions challenging the constitutionality of the three farm acts on January 8 (Monday). The centre has told the court that the talks with farmers have been positive and that there are "chances of some sort of understanding between the two parties". The deadlock over the repeal of the contentious farm laws continued, with the Centre and the farmers unable to get on the same page in the seventh round of discussions.
The protesting farmers have announced that they will intensify their agitation against the three contentious agriculture laws for the next two weeks. Swaraj India's Yogendra Yadav, who has been backing the protesters, said on Tuesday that a tractor march will be organised at four Delhi borders on January 7 to press for their demands -- repealing the laws and giving legal guarantee for the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system. The leader called the march a "trailer" before the massive Republic Day agitation.
Meanwhile, BJP leaders from Punjab, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Tuesday, said that the issue will be solved very soon. "PM Modi knows a lot... all will be resolved and something good will happen. I cannot disclose what transpired in the meeting but something good will happen... when something is being conceived there are fears that it might get miscarriage," they said after the meeting.
Here are the live updates on farmers' protests:
Farmer unions protesting against the three new farm laws Wednesday claimed the cancellation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's visit to India later this month is a "political win" for them and a "diplomatic defeat" for the government, and asserted their agitation has been receiving global support, reported news agency PTI. Boris Johnson was scheduled to attend the Republic Day celebrations in India as Chief Guest, but the visit was cancelled due to the growing health crisis in the UK after a new variant of coronavirus emerged there. "The cancellation of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's India visit is a political win for farmers and a diplomatic defeat for the Modi government... political and social organisations across the world have been supporting the agitation," Sankyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of the protesting farmer unions, said in a statement in Hindi.
Several young non-resident Indians (NRI) have joined the farmers at the Singhu border to extend support to the ongoing demonstration against agricultural laws, news agency ANI reported. Manpreet Singh, an Austria-based automobile businessman, came directly from Delhi airport to the protest site at Singhu border with his luggage to participate in the farmers' agitation. "I came directly from Austria to India, when I was in Europe then I used to watch the news about the farmers' protest and then I decided to reach Delhi and head towards Dharna site," Mr Singh told news agency ANI. Another NRI Jitender Pal Singh from Mohali, who is an IT professional living in New Zealand for the past 8 years, said that he has been supporting farmers from the first day of their movement.
Alleging that the Congress government in Punjab has implemented the contentious farm laws in the state, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for "overt and open betrayal of the farmers", reported news agency PTI. Citing news reports about Punjab's Minister of Food and Civil Supplies Bharat Bhushan Ashu's comment that the Congress government has allowed farmers from elsewhere to sell their produce in the state, AAP's Punjab co-incharge Raghav Chadha accused Amarinder Singh of "lying to everyone". "It is indeed sad to note that this year has begun on such a grim note with the biggest fraud and betrayal committed by the Congress and Amarinder Singh who have implemented the black farm laws in Punjab. The Aam Aadmi Party demands his resignation," Mr Chadha said. "With the backdoor implementation of the three black farm laws, Amarinder Singh has lied to everyone, he has betrayed not only the farmers of Punjab, but the fields of Punjab, the land of Punjab and the "annadaatas" (food providers) of Punjab," he said.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said he looks positively at the ongoing discussions with farmer unions as an opportunity to explain to them the benefits from the new laws against which they are protesting.
Farmers will begin a tractor march from the Ghazipur border to Palwal. The rally will be taken out under the leadership of National Spokesperson of Indian Farmers Union Politics, Rakesh Tikait. This tractor rally will go via Palwal on Eastern Peripheral Road, Duhai, Dasna, Beel Akbarpur, Sirsa and return on the same route. From 12 noon to 3 pm vehicles going to Palwal from Beel Akbarpur and Sirsa Cut will not be allowed to use the Eastern Pheripheral Expressway and will be diverted. Vehicles from Sirsa Cut and Beel Akbarpur travelling towards Sonipat will not be allowed to use the Eastern Pheripheral Expressway between 2 pm and 5 pm and will be diverted, Gautum Buddh Nagar Police's media cell said in an advisory.
Protesting farmers from Ghazipur will march to Palwal via the National Highway 24, Dasna and Peripheral Expressway. Farmers from Palwal will leave for Ghazipur at 11 am. A meeting will be held on the road where the two groups will converge.
Senior Congress leaders today took out a tractor rally in Madhya Pradesh's Sehore, which is Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's home district, to protest against the Centre's new farm laws, reported news agency PTI. Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, former Union Minister Arun Yadav, former minister Sajjan Singh Verma and several party MLAs were part of the tractor rally organised at Nasrullaganj, which is part of Shivraj Chouhan's Assembly seat Budhni in Sehore district.
Rain in the national capital have failed to dampen the spirit of the protesting farmers at the borders. To protect themselves from rains they have made tents waterproof at Singhu border, reported news agency ANI. Farmers were troubled by the constant rain as their tents collapsed while some started leaking. They waterproofed their tents by covering them with plastics to avoid any kind of inconvenience.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar today said those farmer unions, which are protesting against the farm laws, will understand the idea behind bringing the laws for reforms in the agricultural sector and actively arrive at a solution after discussion, reported news agency ANI. "The government of India is committed to the welfare of farmers. We meet those who are supporting the laws and those opposing it. I am sure that farmer unions who are agitating will understand the idea behind agriculture laws and they will think about the welfare of farmers and actively arrive at a solution by a positive discussion," Narendra Tomar told reporters.
Stressing that there was nothing wrong with the demands of the farmers, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately repeal the Farm Laws in order to resolve the crisis. Categorically rejecting as "highly irresponsible" reports in a section of the media that Punjab had already implemented the new farm laws, the chief minister said Food Minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu's statement had been mischievously twisted by one newspaper, with others picking it up.
Sanjay Nath Singh, the eldest grandson of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri who gave the popular slogan ''Jai Jawan Jai Kisan'', met the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to extend support to farm laws, reported news agency ANI. Mr Singh, who is the working president and secretary-general of All India Farmers Association, has levelled serious allegations on farmer union leaders leading the agitation against agricultural laws on Delhi's borders. He revealed that among the leaders sitting on the protest today, there are quite a few who went with him to meetings of prominent political parties to address farmers' concerns and vision for their welfare for their election manifesto.
We're committed to the welfare of farmers. We meet those who're supporting the laws & those opposing it. I am sure that farmers unions who are agitating will think about the welfare of farmers and actively arrive at a solution: Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Agriculture Minister pic.twitter.com/k2BDBUxvgl- ANI (@ANI) January 6, 2021