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 ■ ■ chennai l saturday l november 20, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 20 l 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 IS 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 Pun- 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 jab 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 victory shows Limits of Parliamentary power I P8 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. What next after the repeal of farm laws I P8 3 E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi / Chandigarh 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 sincerely 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 deliberations with stakeholders. Protesting farmers celebrate victory I P9 complaint, said the police officer. Two government doctors from After an internal committee Rajiv Gandhi Government Gen- probed their complaints, the RGeral Hospital (RGGGH), who GGH dean forwarded the comwere arrested on charges of rape plaints along with the commitand molestation, were dismissed tee’s findings to the police from their service by requesting criminal the State Health action against the duo, ‘Victim was Department. said the police. reluctant to The accused, S VetriAnother source allodge plaint’ selvan (35) and N Moleged that the two dochanraj (28), were re- Police said the case tors had sexually asoccurred in two manded in judicial saulted the victims in custody allegedly for different periods a the guise of helping few months ago. raping and molesting them, while staying at Though the police their female the hotel room due to knew about the colleagues. Covid protocol. A police source said incident, the victim Speaking to TNIE, a was reluctant to file senior police officer the case occurred in two different periods a complaint as she said they are investiabout a few months was afraid of victim gating if the accused blaming. Later, a ago. Though the police have committed simicomplaint was knew about the incilar offenses in the past. dent, the victim was lodged, said police “If there are any vicreluctant to file a comtims who have been plaint as she was afraid of victim harassed by the accused, we welblaming. It took several discus- come them to contact the police sions and counselling for the vic- so that we can bring them to justim to come forward to lodge a tice,” added the police officer. E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ Chennai 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 eight persons dead | Express | P7 Rain fury: Building collapse kills nine in Vellore district S H YA M S U N D A R N @ Vellore Nine people including five women and four children died, and nine others were injured after a house collapsed at Pernambut in Vellore in the wee hours of Friday . The house, located on Azeezia street, was almost 70 years old. Due to the recent spell of rains in the State, Goddaru which runs be- hind the street, was overflowing. This led to the inundation of the street forcing the residents to wade through waist-deep water to reach their destinations. Stating that because of the inundation, many of them had vacated their houses, the residents said, some of the neighbours were also accommodated in the house which collapsed on Friday morning. Continued on: P7 TN steps up vigil on Dengue With Tamil Nadu reporting close to 500 dengue cases in the last two weeks, the State Health Department is set to step up its surveillance with various measures to control vector-borne outbreaks | P2 ‘not fair on states’ Reduce tax on petrol, diesel to 2014 rates, says PTR E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Chennai Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan on Friday once again turned down the Union Government’s request to slash State taxes on petrol and diesel in conjunction with the recent reduction of taxes by the former. Terming the request as unreasonable, he urged the Centre to reduce the levy of taxes on petrol and diesel to 2014 rates. “While the Union’s taxes continue to be exorbitant, it is neither fair nor feasible for the State to further reduce taxes. The sole, simple, and fair approach to improve the situation for all is for the Union to reduce the levy of taxes on petrol and diesel to the rates prevailing in 2014. Such a move will automatically reduce States’ taxation (as almost all States follow ad-valorem),” he said in a statement. The Minister’s explanation assumes significance in the wake of demands from opposition parties, particularly the AIADMK. He said the Centre had failed to accept the requests of States in the past seven years to reverse the increase of taxes. However, TN was among the few States in the country to reduce the tax by `3 per litre on petrol, to benefit the low and middle-income users who own 2 . 6 3 c r o r e t wo - 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. SKM will take note of all developments, hold its meeting soon and announce further decisions,” 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. “The agitation will not be withdrawn immediately, we will wait for the day when agricultural laws will be repealed in Parliament. Along with MSP, the government should also discuss other issues of farmers,” Tikait tweeted. 669 farmers’ lives lost in protests I P9 Two government docs held for colleagues’ rape neck-deep in trouble ‘Next Fight is for msp guarantee’ wheelers in the State. The estimated loss to the government was around `1,160 crore per annum. Rajan said on November 3, the Union announced a reduction of `5 per litre on petrol and `10 per litre for diesel. Since TN levies “ad valorem” taxes after Union taxes, this move by the Union would cause an additional reduction in the pump price of petrol by `0.65 (`5.65 total ), and diesel by `1.10 (`11.10 total) in TN, and will result in a loss of `1,050 crore in revenue to the State annually P6 . Decision in national interest, says bjp I P9 Jab-o-meter Take your shot Nov 18 65,45,982 doses Nov 19 46,31,286 doses Total: 115,73,24,921 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 and their brave struggle which has led to the repeal of Modi’s three black farm laws. We must not forget the sacrifice of 750 farmers who lost their lives in this struggle - CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury The protest won’t be withdrawn immediately, we will wait for the day when the farm laws are repealed in Parliament. Along with Minimum Support Price, the government should talk to farmers on other issues too - Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait Junking reforms bad for the farm sector: economists I P12 NATIONWIDE Nov 18 Nov 19 tamil nadu Nov 18 Nov 19 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 11,919 11,242 470 11,106 12,789 459 775 896 12 772 884 13
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