BKU chief Naresh Tikait for Rajnath, Satya Pal Malik, KC Tyagi as mediators between farmers and Centre: Key developments | India News

BKU chief Naresh Tikait for Rajnath, Satya Pal Malik, KC Tyagi as mediators between farmers and Centre: Key developments | India News

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NEW DELHI: Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Naresh Tikait has suggested the names of defence minister Rajnath Singh, Meghalaya governor Satya Pal Malik and JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi to mediate between the government and the protesting farmers over the three contentious central farm laws. Tyagi has accepted the proposal with the condition that the suggestion came from the government.
Here are the developments of the day:
1. BKU leader Naresh Tikait has suggested the names of Rajnath Singh and Satya Pal Malik, besides that of KC Tyagi as mediators between the Centre and the protesting farmers. Reacting to the proposal, Tyagi said that he is willing to play the role of a mediator if the government makes any such suggestion. The talks between the government and farmer unions have broken down with the Centre ruling out the repeal of the farm laws as demanded by protestors and insisting that it is up to the farmer bodies to come out with specific concerns with these reforms. Tyagi, a socialist leader from western Uttar Pradesh, noted that he had worked under the leadership of former prime minister Charan Singh and also ex-deputy prime minister Devi Lal, and has been associated with farmer issues for decades. He along with Malik had in the past mediated between farmer leader Mahendra Singh Tikait and the Uttar Pradesh government headed by then Mulayam Singh Yadav to defuse farmers’ row.
2. Meghalaya governor Satya Pal Malik has said he was talking “unofficially” to the agitating farmers and the government to press for an early solution to the stalemate over the contentious agri laws, adding there was a growing understanding within the two sides that a resolution needs to be found at the earliest. Malik, who hails from Baghpat in western Uttar Pradesh, asserted the issue of farmers needs to be resolved soon else it will damage the BJP in western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. He also expressed regret that “no one has uttered even a single word” at the death of agitating farmers during the over 100-day protest by them. Referring to the deadlock persisting between the protesting farmers and the government despite several rounds of talk Malik said no one is being unreasonable in the government and only those who want to damage the party are opposing an early solution. “I am of the opinion that there should be a solution to the problem at the earliest and I am hopeful now of an early solution because there seems to be not much distance between the viewpoints of two sides. “I am talking unofficially to both the sides pressing for an early solution. There is a growing understanding within the farmer community that a solution needs to be found at the earliest as well as the government,” PTI quoted Malik as telling a private news channel.
3. Amid protests by Congress members, the Haryana assembly passed the Recovery of Damages to Property during Disturbance to Public Order Bill, 2021 that will allow authorities to recover compensation from violent protesters for damage to property. As speaker Gian Chand Gupta was completing the process to pass the Bill by a voice vote, two Congress MLAs rushed to the Well of the House demanding its withdrawal. “Bill vapas lo, vapas lo,” Congress MLAs chanted. Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and home minister Anil Vij denied the Congress suggestion that the decision to bring the Bill was linked to the farmers’ agitation over legislation enacted at the Centre. Vij said the Bill was meant to hold accountable those who burn shops and damage other public and private property during protests. But senior Congress leader RS Kadian claimed that the Bill infringed upon fundamental rights. The Bill provides for recovery of damages to property caused during disturbances to public order by an assembly, lawful or unlawful, including riots and “violent disorder”. Uttar Pradesh has invoked similar provisions to seek damages from alleged rioters who targeted government property during protests in 2019 over amendments to the citizenship law.
4. Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has urged the Centre to leave its ego, scrap the three farm legislations and bring in new laws after fresh discussions with farmers. Singh was addressing the media on the completion of four years of his government. “Bring new bills after discussion with farmers. Sit with them, talk to them and then bring a new bill. Why are you sitting on prestige and ego,” he asked the Centre. Referring to the amendment bills passed by the state assembly last year to “negate” the Centre’s farm laws, Singh said, “We will go to the Supreme Court if the President does not give assent to the state amendment bills.” The chief minister, however, noted that the amendment bills are yet to be forwarded to the President by the governor of Punjab. Singh further said he could not see a middle path to break the stalemate between the farmers and the government of India, and asked the Centre to scrap the farm laws. How many more farmers have to die, he asked, pointing out that 112 farmers from Punjab alone have lost their lives since the agitation began. Targeting the governor for not forwarding the amendment bills passed by the Punjab Assembly for the President’s assent, he remarked, “Are we a democracy or not?” Punjab took a unanimous decision and the governor has no business to sit on the files, the chief minister said. It is his duty to forward to the President for assent under Article 254 (2) of the Constitution, he said.
5. Attacking the government for not paying tributes to farmers who died during their protest, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said his two-minute silence in the memory of the 300 men who sacrificed their lives is not acceptable to the BJP. He used the hashtag ‘300DeathsAtProtest’ to highlight that 300 farmers have so far lost their lives in the farmers’ agitation. “My 2-minute silence for the farmers who died during the agitation is not acceptable to the BJP. I will pay my tributes to the sacrifices of my farmers and labourers again and again. I am not afraid of those who fear my silence,” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi. In another tweet, he again attacked the government over job losses and cited a report claiming that a large number of EPF accounts were shut during the pandemic. He said that this was another achievement of the BJP government’s “eradicate employment campaign”. “You lost your job and had to close down your EPF account. Another achievement of the central government’s ‘eradicate employment campaign’,” he said in a tweet in Hindi. The unnamed news report claimed that a large number of people lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic and 71 lakh EPF accounts were closed in nine months.
6. Continuous efforts are being made to remove every small and big impediment in the way of farmers’ journey from ‘seed to market’ and to ensure the progress of agriculture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told a farmer from Uttarakhand in a letter. Replying to a letter written by Kheemanand Pandey from Nainital, who had congratulated the prime minister on the completion of five years of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Modi said the scheme is continuously playing an important role in protecting the economic interests of hardworking farmers by reducing the risk associated with weather uncertainties. Crores of farmers are availing the benefits of this farmer-friendly insurance scheme, the prime minister noted in his reply to Kheemanand’s letter. “Today, continuous efforts are being made to remove every small and big impediment in the way of the farmers’ journey from the ‘seed to market’ and to ensure their prosperity and progress of agriculture,” Modi wrote in the letter.In his letter to the farmer, the prime minister also appreciated the contribution and role of the people in the progress of the country.
7. The Jai Kisan Andolan has launched an ‘MSP Loot Calculator’, which will calculate the losses incurred by farmers when forced to sell crops below the minimum support price. According to Avik Saha, the national convenor of Jai Kisan Andolan – a nationwide movement dedicated to farmers’ rights, the calculator would be sharing new data every day showcasing the losses faced by farmers in different parts of the country in association with the sale of the variety of crops that they grow. “Its purpose is to expose the false propaganda of the government that the farmer is getting the MSP announced by the government,” Saha said. New findings by the loot calculator about different crops in different states and the losses incurred by farmers will now be shared daily on Jai Kisan Andolan’s social media pages, he added. “From now on, every day the Jai Kisan movement will release the data of the plunder of the farmer in any state, any market or any crop,” Saha said. He said the calculator would use data from the government website Agmark.net to deduce its findings.
(With agency inputs)

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