CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI ■ ■ HYDERABAD SATURDAY NOVEMBER 20, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 18 LATE CITY EDITION I hope the PM and the BJP govt will leave their stubbornness and focus on farmer welfare, ensure MSP and evolve a consensus with state govts, farmer organisations and opposition parties before taking any such step in future Ultimately, as UP and Punjab elections came closer and particularly when the BJP saw the reaction of farmers in the villages of Haryana and Punjab and some other states, they decided to withdraw the three farm laws Congress president Sonia Gandhi 11 My heartfelt congratulations to every single farmer who fought relentlessly and were not fazed by the cruelty with which @BJP4India treated you. My deepest condolences to everyone who lost their loved ones in this fight NCP chief Sharad Pawar ROUNDS OF TALKS WERE HELD BETWEEN THE CENTRE AND FARMERS West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee Constitutional process to repeal laws will be completed in the upcoming session of Parliament starting later this month, says Modi; fears of widening Sikh-Hindu divide in Punjab and possible heavy poll reverses in western UP because of agrarian unrest responsible for sharp climbdown Farmers celebrate after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to repeal the farm laws, at the Singhu border in New Delhi on Friday | PTI FARM LAWS WEEDED OUT FOR GOOD M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Friday sprang a surprise by announcing the process to repeal three contentious laws farmers were agitated about, marking a sharp climbdown in the face of electoral challenges in five states, including Uttar Pradesh, early next year. Apologising for “deficiency” in explaining the merits of the laws to “some of the farmers”, Modi sought to take the moral high ground, saying “Whatever I did, I did for the farmers and whatever I am doing, I am doing for the country He also announced the .” constitution of a committee to look into minimum support prices (MSP) mechanism to make it more transparent and effective. “In the upcoming Parliament session starting at the end of this month, we will complete the constitutional process to repeal the three farm laws,” Modi said. Timing his address to the nation with Guru Purab, the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, Modi urged the agitating farmers to call off their protests and return home. “Let’s make a fresh start. Let’s move with a fresh beginning,” he said. The backdrop to the announcement was set up by former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh raising security concerns in the state in his meetings with Union home minister Amit Shah after quitting the Congress, besides growing concerns within the BJP of the heavy cost, particularly in UP, where about one-fourth of the Assembly constituencies were seen to be directly affected by the farm protests. The perceived anger of Sikhs in Punjab against the BJP and Modi in particular due to the farm laws, apparently precipitated the climbdown. The NDA had INSIDE Pain points in the three farm sector reform laws THE FARMER’S PRODUCE TRADE AND COMMERCE (PROMOTION AND FACILITATION) ACT, 2020 FARMERS (EMPOWERMENT AND PROTECTION) AGREEMENT OF PRICE ASSURANCE AND FARM SERVICES ACT, 2020 2 ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2020 1 It allows farmers to trade their produce outside the physical markets notified under various state Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee laws. Farmers feared the new rules would lead to inadequate demand for their produce in local markets. They said transporting the produce outside mandis would not be possible because of lack of resources Will create legal framework for contract farming under which farmers enter into a direct pact with a buyer before sowing season to sell produce at pre-determined prices. Farmers worried that it would lead to corporatisation of agriculture and the end of the MSP regime. There were concerns that the contract system would make small and marginal farmers vulnerable to exploitation from big companies It will take away Centre’s powers to impose stockholding limit on food items, except under extraordinary circumstances. Market forces would determine stock limits on farming produce. No specific opposition to this provision, but it is seen as contrary to the objective of the main law, which is to maintain regular supply of essentials at a fair price for consumers under similar circumstances let the Land Amendment Ordinances to lapse in 2015. With Shah set to take direct charge of the western and Braj parts of UP, which together account for over 130 Assembly constituencies, the repeal could help him rework his maneuvering to win back the support of the formidable Jats. Also, for the BJP’s plan to materialise to ride piggyback on Amarinder Singh in Punjab to work on the Jat Sikh and the Hindu vote base, a face saver for him had become mandatory. The prospects of the Aam Admi Party gaining from multi-cornered contests in Punjab had also been worrying the BJP lately . “While apologising to the countrymen, today I want to say sin- E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi / Chandigarh cerely that perhaps there must have been some deficiency in our penance that we couldn’t explain the truth like the light of the lamp to the farmer brothers,” said Modi. He added that the government had brought in the farm laws with good intentions after extensive de l ibe r at i on s w i th stakeholders. WHILE all farmer unions have welcomed the government’s decision to repeal the contentious farm laws, they are not ready to call off their agitation yet. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella organisation of various farm unions, and the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) said they will not stop the protests unless the laws are repealed fully in Parliament. SKM said it has plans for the next three-four months including visiting poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, keeping an eye on the winter session of Parliament, and organising large-scale protests across the country on January 26. It also said that a concrete plan of action will be decided in a meeting of farmers’ leaders on Saturday SKM lead. er Darshan Pal said there are two distinct issues comprising the farm laws and Minimum Support Price. “SKM reminds the Prime Minister that the agitation is not just for the repeal of the three black laws, but also for a statutory guarantee of remunerative prices for all agricultural produce and for all farmers. This important demand of farmers is still pending. So is the withdrawal of the Electricity Amendment Bill,” an SKM statement read. BKU’s Rakesh Tikait said that farmers’ agitation wouldn’t die down anytime soon and will continue till Parliament repeals these laws. We brought in the laws for the welfare of farmers... but were not able to explain to some farmers such a sacred thing - Prime Minister Narendra Modi Salutes to our farmers. We must not forget the sacrifice of 750 farmers who lost their lives in this struggle - Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) gen secy The protest won’t be withdrawn immediately, we will wait for the day when the farm laws are repealed in Parliament - Rakesh Tikait, Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Won’t back down until Electricity Bill is also withdrawn: TS farmers’ unions E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad ACTIVISTS of farmers’ unions in Telangana, who have been working under the aegis of Kisan Samyukt Morcha since the beginning of the farmers’ agitation in the country, welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to repeal the controversial farm laws on Friday, while making it clear that they would continue fighting until the Centre withdrew the Electricity (Amendment) Bill introduced in Parlia- VICTORY SHOWS LIMITS OF PARLIAMENTARY POWER I P8 ment. They also demanded that a legislation guaranteeing minimum support price (MSP) to farmers be enacted. All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha president V Venaktaramaiah pointed out how the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), in its yearly reports, had consistently stated that farmers were not receiving MSP for their crops in the open market. In spite of the Abhijit Sen Commission formed in 2002 and other commissions constituted in the years af- WHAT NEXT AFTER THE REPEAL OF FARM LAWS I P8 ter that recommending MSP as a statutory right, a legislation to this effect was yet to be enacted, he said. Leaders of various political parties and organisations in Telangana, meanwhile, demanded that the Centre provide ex gratia to the families of the 700odd farmers who had sacrificed their lives for the agitation. IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao took to Twitter and de- PROTESTING FARMERS CELEBRATE VICTORY I P9 clared that the “power of the people is always greater than the people in power”. This, he said, was proved yet again by the farmers who got what they had demanded for through their relentless agitation. Appreciating Modi’s “bold apology” to the nation, Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy said that the Prime Minister’s announcement displayed his dignity, which, he said, was lacking in the BJP leadership in Telan- 669 FARMERS’ LIVES LOST IN PROTESTS I P9 gana. Welcoming the move, the Minister said that the Centre had reco gnised the anguish of farmers. “The Prime Minister must have perceived the possibilities of south Indian farmers joining their north Indian counterparts after the announcement made by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao at the Maha Dharna on Thursday. This, in turn, must have culminated in the latest decision,” said Niranjan Reddy . CONTINUED ON P4 DECISION IN NATIONAL INTEREST, SAYS BJP I P9 KCR effect? “The PM must have perceived the possibilities of south Indian farmers joining their north Indian counterparts after KCR’s dharna. This turn, must have led to the Centre’s latest move,” said TS Agri Minister JUNKING REFORMS BAD FOR THE FARM SECTOR: ECONOMISTS I P12 Naidu weeps, vows not to step into Assembly EXPRESS READ Sensex may hit 70,000 by Dec 2022: Analysts A drama motivated by political agenda: Jagan E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Vijayawada New Delhi: India’s equity market outperformance relative to emerging markets is likely to pause in 2022, said analysts at Morgan Stanley on Friday. However, they expect (50% probability) the benchmark index — Sensex — to hit the 70,000mark by December 2022 — up around 16% from the current levels | P12 Biden mulls Beijing Olympics boycott Washington: US President Joe Biden said on Thursday he was considering a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing, in what would be an attempt to show toughness over China’s rights abuses. That is “something we are considering,” Biden told reporters while meeting with Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, at the White House | P11 3 ‘NEXT FIGHT IS FOR MSP GUARANTEE’ NECK-DEEP IN TROUBLE Passengers of a bus trapped in flash floods being rescued in Andhra Pradesh’s Kadapa on Friday. At least 12 people are reported missing in the district. About 20 cm rainfall in a day in four districts of the state wreaked havoc that left 17 persons dead | P7 IN an unprecedented development, Andhra Pradesh Leader of Opposition and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday broke into tears and sought to know why his wife Bhuvaneswari was being dragged into political mudslinging by the YSRC. Hurt by what he termed as repeated humiliations and insults heaped on him by the ruling party, the former chief minister said he “could not take it anymore”. Naidu was speaking at a press conference after walking out of the State Assembly in a huff. Before his walkout, he declared that he would return to the House only as the Chief Minister and appealed to the people to understand why he had to take such a drastic measure. Things got out of hand during a discussion on the agriculture sector on the second day of the Assembly session, which witnessed dramatic moments of E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Vijayawada A teary-eyed Chandrababu Naidu speaks to the media after his Assembly walk-out Naidu and his party legislators clashing with the YSRC members, culminating in his walkout. While YSRC member Ambati Rambabu was speaking, the TDP members reportedly made sarcastic remarks against him, triggering heated exchanges between the two parties. CONTINUED ON P6 ANDHRA Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy dismissed Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu’s emotional outburst and subsequent walkout from the State Assembly on Friday, as a drama motivated by a political agenda. After being denied a microphone to make his statement in the House, Naidu addressed the Speaker in an emotional manner and left the Assembly vowing that he would only return as a Chief Minister. Referring to what had happened in the House in his absence, the Chief Minister said, “At a time when an all-important issue related to farmers was being discussed, instead of providing his suggestions to the government as a responsible Opposition Leader, Naidu had laid emphasis on his own agenda,” Jagan said. He said that Naidu was frustrated as the people had rejected him in the recent elections. “His party also lost strength in the Legislative Council, which now has my brother, a Dalit, as the Chairperson. Naidu is unable to digest these developments and is not aware CONTINUED ON P6 of what he is saying,” Jagan said. JAB-O-METER STUMBLING BLOCK TAKE YOUR Vaccine hesitancy back? First dose jabs drop in Telangana D O N I TA J O S E @ Hyderabad TELANGANA may have zoomed ahead with its first dose vaccinations touching 84.3 per cent of the targeted population. However, figures over the last 10 days show that the percentage of first dose vaccinations have declined considerably . According to the CoWIN dash- board, from November 8 till date, the total number of first dose vaccines is 79,000 doses daily on , an average. Earlier, the same figure was between 1-1.5 lakh doses. On the other hand, the number of second doses is much higher. The State has roughly 2.8 crore adult population across 33 districts and only 2.4 crore first doses have been given, leaving nearly 40-50 lakh beneficiaries behind. In terms of the second dose, only 38.5 per cent of the population has taken the same. This implies that only 1.17 crore individuals are fully vaccinated. Experts say complacency and vaccine hesitancy could be a factor. “Since cases are lower and no major issue is being reported, complacency has set in amongst individuals. Some people are shying away from the second dose since they are wary after experi- encing side-effects from the first dose such as fever and body pains. We are motivating all to adhere to the dosage for best protection,” added an official from the Health Department. Some people are shying away from the second dose since they are wary after experiencing side-effects from the first dose such as fever and body pains. We are motivating all to adhere to the dosage for best protection – Official from Health Department SHOT November 18 65,45,982 doses November 19 46,31,286 doses TOTAL DOSES 115,73,24,921 NATIONWIDE NOV 18 NOV 19 TELANGANA NOV 18 NOV 19 Fresh cases 11,919 11,106 Fresh cases 144 137 Recoveries Deaths 161 1 173 1 11,242 12,789 Recoveries 470 459 Deaths
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