SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 20 NOVEMBER 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P10 WEATHER Partly claudy sky. Shallow fog in the morning. The maximun and minimum temperatures would be around 27 and 11 degrees Celsius respectively. P5 P7 Says process to repeal the three laws to be completed in Winter session of Parliament Farmers’ protests to continue till Parliament action: Tikait Min: 46% TEMPERATURE Max: 25.9°C (-2) SUN RISES 06:48 hrs MOON RISES 18:06 hrs IANS & SNS Min: 10.9°C (-1) SUN SETS 17:26 hrs MOON SETS 08:23 hrs NEW DELHI, 19 NOVEMBER THUMBNAILS (L) Farmers celebrate at Tikri. (R) A Nihang Sikh shows his skills with a horse at the Singhu border after ANI Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement. DIPANKAR CHAKRABORTY NEW DELHI, 19 NOVEMBER I North Block & South Block are illuminated in blue colour to support child rights on the eve of World Childrens Day, in the Capital on Friday. SUBRATA DUTTA 12 dead in Andhra floods: At least 12 people were killed and 18 others went missing after three buses were stuck in floods triggered by heavy rains in Andhra Pradesh’s Kadapa district on Friday. Rescue workers pulled out 12 bodies and were searching for the missing (P5) people in Rajampet area. Delhi Covid numbers: The national capital on Friday recorded 30 cases of Covid-19 with the positivity rate declining to 0.05 per cent, according to the latest data provided by the Delhi government. The tests conducted for identifying fresh cases numbered 56,689. (P2) India win second T20I: India handily won the second T20 match against New Zealand in Ranchi on Friday by seven wickets, clinching the three-match series. Fifties from Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul helped India overhaul the target after the Kiwis were restricted to 153/6. (Earlier report on Page 12) n a dramatic turn of events, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced the rollback of three controversial farm laws after a protracted and unprecedented faceoff between the central government and a section of farmers mainly from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana stoutly opposing the measures. The announcement came during Prime Minister Modi's address to the nation Friday morning at 9 and his greetings to the people on the occasion of Sikh religious festival Gurpurab and reopening of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. “Today I have come to tell you, the whole country, that we have decided to withdraw all three agricultural laws. In the Parliament session starting later this month, we will complete the constitutional process to repeal these three agricultural laws," the PrimeMinister said. Mr Modi thanked farmers Pak relaxes norm of 10 days’ prior notice for Kartarpur visit NEW DELHI, 19 NOVEMBER Pakistan has decided to relax its mutually laid limit with India of 10 days advance intimation before the arrival of Sikh pilgrims to visit the Kartarpur gurdwara, Geo News reported citing sources as saying. The sources said the decision has been taken by Pakistan as a sign of respect for the religious sentiments of the Sikh pilgrims given India's last-minute decision to open the Kartarpur Corridor, which was likely to cause the worshippers inconvenience, the report said. Pakistan has given a relaxation till 30 November and expects the Indian government will follow the agreed process for visitors from 1 December onwards, the report added. India and Pakistan are both required to process lists of Sikh pilgrims 10 days before their visit to Kartarpur to allow for necessary procedural clearances. Pilgrimage to the Kartarpur was suspended in March 2020 due to the pandemic. and experts who had welcomed the three farm laws while underlining that his government had to repeal them after repeated attempts to make the agitating farmers see reason came a cropper. He said these laws were meant for the majority of farmers who had to sustain themselves and their families on a small piece of agriculture land. He said that the government had brought these laws for the welfare of farmers, specially small farmers, in the interest of the agriculture sector, for a bright future of ‘gaanv-gareeb’ - villagepoor, with full integrity, clear conscience and dedication towards farmers. Mr Modi further said that, “such a sacred thing, absolutely pure, a matter of farmers' interest, we could not explain to some farmers despite our efforts. Agricultural economists, scientists, progressive farmers also tried their best to make them understand the importance of agricultural laws”. He said that in the spirit of holy Gurupurab today is not the day for blaming anyone, and rededicated himself to working for the welfare of the farmers. He announced an important initiative for the agriculture sector. The Prime Minister also announced the formation of a committee to promote zero budgeting based agriculture, to change crop pattern as per the changing needs of the country and to make MSP more effective and transparent. "The Committee will have representatives of the central government, state governments, farmers, agricultural scientists, and agricultural economists," he added. Earlier, the Prime Minister sought to list the measures his government had undertaken upon assuming power at the centre. “I have seen the challenges of the farmers very closely in my five decades of public life, that is why, when I was given the opportunity to serve the country as Prime Minister in 2014, we gave the highest priority to agriculture development and farmer welfare,” Mr Modi said. He said that four-prong measures of seeds, insurance, market and savings were taken to ameliorate the conditions of farmers. DEEPAK RAZDAN Popular acceptance of the three controversial farm laws being repealed now was always in doubt considering the manner in which they were rushed through in last year’s Monsoon session of the Rajya Sabha. Passage of important Bills in the Upper House has for many years faced rough weather because of the doubtful majority of the Government. No wonder, many laws like the farm laws faced tough questioning by the Opposition. The Opposition in the Rajya Sabha wanted the farm laws referred to a Select Committee. Its members from the Congress, Trinamul Congress and Left parties were keen to move amendments for that, but they were The Opp in the RS wanted the farm laws referred to a Select Committee. Its members from the Cong, TMC and Left parties were keen to move amendments for that, but they were rejected on technical grounds rejected on technical grounds. Brought to Parliament at the peak of the pandemic, the laws could not be discussed to the extent their subjects required. There was tearing of papers, shouting and members protesting from the well of the House, although there was a stormy three and a half hours debate on the Bills. Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar had assured on behalf of the Government that pro- PM’s announcement relating to the farm laws is a welcome and statesmanlike move. As the PM pointed out in his address, the Government of India will keep serving our farmers. curement of agricultural produce would continue on MSP The . laws were intended to allow farmers access wider markets, and come out of the stranglehold of mandis and middlemen, the Minister tried to tell the House. But the Opposition was not convinced by his arguments. The Elders argued that a law concerning 60 to 70 per cent of the country’s population should not be rushed through, and be referred to a Parliamentary Committee so that views of all stakeholders like farmers and farm experts could be secured. Several Bills in the past had come out stronger and with acceptance by the whole House when they were referred to Select Committees. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 was one of them. Objecting to the Bills Along with good quality seeds, the government also connected the farmers with facilities like neem-coated urea, soil health card is a victory for farmers. The protesting farmers suffered a lot, including the loss of human lives, but ultimately they have emerged victorious. However, the farmers' morcha will continue till the controversial laws are taken to Parliament to get these repealed with the President of India putting his signature on the final document." Another Punjab-based BKU leader, Sukh Darshan Singh, called it a "primary victory" of the farmers' movement. He said, "The Prime Minister's announcement is the first step towards our final victory.We will continue our protest till the controversial laws are junked by Parliament. We want the government's representatives to have a dialogue with the protesting leaders in this regard. We will hold a meeting of farmers' leaders to decide our final line of action now that the government has bowed before the farmers.” and micro irrigation, he said. Many initiatives had been taken for the farmers to get the right price for their produce, he added. INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NARENDRA SINGH TOMAR AMIT SHAH UNION HOME MINISTER KOLKATA, 19 NOVEMBER Political observes believe that, cornered by the BJP, Varun would be looking for a stable platform and in that case, TMC could be the best alternative. out making any direct statement on the matter, a senior Trinamul leader said, “Leaders who are angry with the BJP , but have no way to go to the Congress, are contacting TMC. At the moment, it is clear that Mamata and Trinamul can play the biggest role in stopping Modi.”Recently, BJP had dropped Varun Gandhi and his mother Maneka Gandhi from the party's national working committee, and the Gandhi family junior is reportedly looking for a political platform. Varun Gandhi had also condemned the killing of farmers at Lakhimpur Kheri, indicating that his ties with the saffron camp have turned sour. Political experts believe that cornered by the BJP he would , be looking for a stable platform and in that case, TMC could be the best alternative. “Varun Gandhi cannot go to the Congress. So he would be looking at a party that can give him a national platform. With Trinamool Congress trying to increase its presence nationally, it would also be interested to include a person who has national acceptability. And in that case, it will be a win-win situation for all," a senior being rushed, the Elders said that Covid was raging and there were problems like Chinese activity on border. This was no time for the Bills which sought to alter the manner agriculture was pursued in the country.But the House sat beyond its pandemic-curtailed working hours, and took up the Bills’ passage, after a hurried consent to continue work. Such were the proceedings during the passage of the Bills that eight Rajya Sabha members including TMCleader Derek O’Brien were on the next day suspended from the House for the remainder of the Monsoon Session for their conduct. For the first time in the history of Rajya Sabha, a motion for removal of the Deputy Chairman was given due to the manner the Bills were passed. PM had brought the three Bills that were passed by the Parliament. They would have benefitted farmers... But I am pained that we failed to explain benefits to some farmers of the nation. UNION AGRICULTURE MINISTER Switchover buzz:Varun to meet Mamata in Delhi After Sushmita Dev, Babul Supriyo, Luizinho Faleiro and Leander Paes, there are strong indications that BJP MP Varun Gandhi might jump ship and join the Trinamul Congress. It is likely that Varun Gandhi might meet West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee during the latter's visit to the national capital next week. Though there has been no official confirmation about Maneka Gandhi's son joining the Trinamul, according to a senior party leader, the chief minister's visit to Delhi next week is going to be ‘very significant’ and might have some ‘surprises’ as well. However, it is still not clear whether the BJP leader will join the TMC during Banerjee's Delhi visit, or later. With- After Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement repealing three farm laws, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Friday said the farmers’ agitation has not ended. “Agitation isn't ending. Who told you that the agitation is ending? It'll continue," said Tikait. “They've just taken laws back, they should go to Parliament and make this legal. We have Samyukt Morcha 9-member committee meeting today. Everything will be decided there. If the government wants to put forth their side, they should do it there,” he added. Further, the BKU leader said that there are many issues pending like the cases against farmers and electricity bills which have to be resolved before the agitation is ended. “MSP Guarantee Act is an issue too. Committee will be formed which will have the member of BKU that will talk to Government over other issues, we can't keep agitating on all the issues,” said Tikait. Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, Convener of the BKU's All-India Coordination Committee, said from his village, near Ludhiana, "The Prime Minister's decision to repeal the 'black laws' Popular acceptance of farm laws was always in doubt NEW DELHI, 19 NOVEMBER INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE P12 PM announces rollback of farm laws RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 95% A.B. DE VILLIERS RETIRES PEOPLE FAVOUR OUR DEVELOPMENT PLAN: PRATIBHA SINGH NAIDU VOWS TO ENTER ASSEMBLY ONLY AFTER RETURNING TO POWER US JUDGE CLEARS TWO IN MALCOLM X SLAYING Trinamool leader told IANS on condition of anonymity. There are also indications that Danish Ali, who had switched to the BSP from JD-S in 2019, might join Trinamool because of his differences with party supremo Mayawati. Last year, Mayawati had removed Ali from the post of Lok Sabha leader due to differences with him. According to official sources, Mamata Banerjee might go to Delhi on November 22 and return on November 25. During her two-day stay in the national capital, she might meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discuss the pending issues. Sources in the chief minister's office indicated that the discussion between Banerjee and Modi might revolve around the state’s pending financial dues, and the extension of BSF's jurisdiction. SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 19 NOVEMBER As Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to rollback the three controversial farm laws, the Opposition parties were quick to hail it as a victory for the farmers who have been agitating against the laws for nearly a year.The Congress party also called it “a decision taken in view of the forthcoming elections”. Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi has termed the rollback a “win against injustice and arrogant government”. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that the government had Policemen stand guard at Lal Chowk in Srinagar during a day-long strike to protest against the recent civilian killings in Srinagar on Friday. MOHAMMAD AMIN WAR pora locality in Srinagar. Their killing sparked angry protests and their relatives and political parties demanded return of bodies of the two persons. The shutdown was observed on the call of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) that in a statement said; "The tragedy, which has agreed to repeal the three farm laws only because it realised that they would face reverses in the upcoming elections. “After 600-700 farmers died during the year-long agitation, the PM is now apologizing for the laws but he has not uttered a word about martyred farmers. We will have to understand that the government decided to change its decision only after recent surveys showed that it was slipping,” she said. The CPI and the CPI (M) hailed the farmers’ movement and endorsed the Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s decision to wait for the Parliamentary approval of the decision. ARVIND KEJRIWAL CONGRESS LEADER DELHI CHIEF MINISTER J&K: Families bury bodies of civilians; shutdown in Valley A shutdown was on Friday observed in Kashmir following the pre-dawn reburial of two civilians after their bodies were on Thursday night exhumed by the police from a terrorist graveyard and handed over to their kin for their last rites according to religious rituals. Braving the midnight chill, a large number of people turned out for their reburial. Police had buried all the four terrorists and civilians in Kupwara. Police had earlier said the two “civilians”, Mohammad Altaf Bhat (48) a trader and Mudasir Gul (40) a dentist, were killed in the crossfire by terrorists at Hyder- Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today congratulated the farmers of the country after Prime Minister Modi announced the decision to repeal the three controversial farm laws. She wrote on Twitter,“My heartfelt congratulations to every single farmer who fought relentlessly and we're not fazed by the cruelty with which BJP for India treated you.This is your victory! More power to all our farmers.” Trinamul Congress Rajya Sabha MP and party’s chief whip Sukhendu Shekhar Roy said at a Press conference in Kolkata that it is a victory of the farmers. This is the victory of every farmer's grit and determination who has shown the Centre its right place. “Our farmers have taught India the power of dissent and resilence... this is their victory. We salute them." Details on Page 4 This golden day will be written in the pages of history like 15 August and 26 January. The Centre bowed down to farmers. This is not just the victory of farmers but also the victory of democracy. RAHUL GANDHI JAMMU, 19 NOVEMBER STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 19 NOVEMBER Decision prompted by fear of impending elections:Opp With their satyagraha, annadata of the country made arrogance bow its head. Congratulations on this victory against injustice STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE This is your victory: Mamata to farmers struck the families of innocent civilians killed in the Hyderpora encounter, is so tormenting that its pain has stunned the people of Kashmir." The Bar Association had also given the shutdown call. PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti tweeted; “Aamir Magrey also killed in Hyderpora encounter is yet to be given a decent burial by his mourning family. The fact that these families are begging for mortal remains instead of asking for justice reflects their lack of faith in the system. His body must be returned immediately”. CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami also urged the government to return the body of Amir Ahmad Magray, a resident of Gool, without any further delay. 3,44,89,623 1,26,620 11,106 12,789 4,65,082 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. FRIDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2021
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