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Monday,17-May-2021

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Farmer leaders don’t want solution, movement is anti-farmer: Ramdas Athawale

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Union minister Ramdas Athawale has said that farmers will suffer the most if the three contentious farm laws are withdrawn though he added that everyone has the right to protest in a democracy.

The solution for any movement comes when both sides concede a bit, but it seems that the farmer leaders do not want a solution whereas the central government has shown a positive attitude by agreeing to necessary amendments, Athawale said in an interview to IANS.

Now the farmer leaders should also agree to a compromise. He raised the question that why would Narendra Modi, who became Prime Minister twice thanks to farmers, bring any law against the farmers?

Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Athawale said “The solution to the peasant movement can be found. But the leaders of the farmers are not ready. When there is a dialogue between the agitators and the government, the two sides will have to take two steps back. Then the middle path can be found. But the movement has created a deadlock due to politics.”

Athawale, while connecting the movement with some organisations, said that this has nothing to do with farmers across the country. He said all farmers of Punjab do not support this movement.

The minister, while softening his stand with the peasant leaders, emphasised on finding a solution to the movement through dialogue. He said, “The government is ready to make amendments. Even then, if the farmer leaders continue to adopt a stubborn attitude by adding new demands, then they will harm the farmers only. I think this is an anti-farmer movement.”

Athawale, a Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra and the national president of the Republican Party of India (A), an ally of the NDA, said he had full sympathy with the farmers who had been agitating along the Delhi borders for several days in the cold. The government is also sensitive to the problems of the farmers. A proposal is being made by the government, and farmer leaders should also consider this proposal positively, he said.

He said, “When Narendra Modi has become Prime Minister twice on the strength of the farmers, why would he bring a Bill against the farmers? Farmers’ income has been doubled. If someone wants to sell outside, they should get the rights. Given all these points, the three new agricultural laws have been brought in the interest of the states.”

The new law does not contain any provision to close the markets. The MSP will continue as before. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also reiterated the same. The role of the government is to help the farmers and farmer leaders should also come up with a compromise formula, he said.

National News

Amit Shah talks to 4 CMs about preparedness on cyclone Tauktae

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday chaired a review meeting with the Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Union Territory of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli to assess preparedness to deal with the cyclonic storm “Tauktae”.

He took stock of the measures and the plans by the states and UTs, as well as Central Ministries along with agencies concerned to deal with the cyclone, and the situation arising out of it.

National Weather Forecasting Centre of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that “Tauktae” (pronounced as Tau’Te) over east central Arabian Sea is likely to intensify further in the next 24 hours.

The cyclone is very likely to move north-northwestwards and reach Gujarat coast in the evening hours of May 17 and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva (Bhavnagar district) around May 18 early morning.

“Tauktae” moved nearly northwards with a speed of about 11 kmph during past 6 hours and lay centered at 5.30 a.m. on Sunday over east central Arabian Sea near latitude 15.0 degree North and longitude 72.7 degree East, about 130 km west-southwest of Panjim-Goa, 450 km south of Mumbai, 700 km south-southeast of Veraval (Gujarat) and 840 km southeast of Karachi (Pakistan),” the IMD said.

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Harsh Vardhan to hold video meet with 4 CMs on Covid

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Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan will be holding a meeting with Health Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat on Covid-19 situation and progress on vaccination drive in these states later on Saturday.

Harsh Vardhan will hold a meet with the Health Ministers of these four states through video conference at 3 p.m.

The Union Minister will review current Covid situation and progress of vaccination drive being run in their respective states to mitigate the spread of the deadly virus which so far has infected 2,43,72,907 people across the country, including 36,73,802 active cases and 2,66,207 deaths.

In a tweet, the Minister informed about his meeting on Covid-19 situation and vaccination drive in these states.

Uttar Pradesh is on top with 13,85,855 Covid cases reported so far in the state followed by Andhra Pradesh (11,75,843), Gujarat (6,09,031) and Madhya Pradesh (6,05,423).

The Health Minister will hold the meeting hours after attending a high-level virtual meeting on Covid-19 situation in the country chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In the past 23 days India’s daily Covid tally has plateaued over the three-lakh-mark and over 3,000 casualties for 17 days.

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Six-time Congress MP R.L. Bhatia passes away at 100

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Six-time Congress MP and two-time Governor R.L. Bhatia passed away in Amritsar on Saturday, his family members said.

Former Minister of State for External Affairs, Bhatia was 100 years old. He represented the Amritsar parliamentary constituency six times from 1972, and was the Governor of Kerala from 2004 to 2008 and of Bihar from 2008 to 2009.

He was admitted to Fortis Hospital a day earlier after he complained of uneasiness.

Known for his impeccable image, Bhatia would have turned 101 on July 3.

MP Manish Tewari paid a visit to Bhatia at his residence in December last year to enquire about his well being along with Amritsar MP Gurjeet Aujla.

In a tweet after the meeting, Tewari wrote, “Spent some wonderful time in his company, marvelling at his memory and recollection of events, even at this age!”

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