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New farm laws enacted only after discussions with farmers: Piyush Goyal




Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has dismissed the allegations of not holding consultations with farmers over the new Central farm laws. Goyal on Friday said these laws have been enforced only after discussing their provisions with the farmers.

The Minister in a tweet said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has discussed the agricultural reforms with all the stakeholders from the beginning. Model laws were sent to the states and discussions were held with the Chief Ministers.

Goyal said innumerable training and webinar sessions were held with farmers, and these laws have been enforced only after discussing the provisions with them.

It has been alleged that the Central government has implemented the three agricultural laws during the corona pandemic without taking the opinions of the farmers.

The farmers have been protesting at the borders of the national capital for more than three weeks now, demanding the repeal of these three laws. In such a situation, this statement from the Railway Minister assumes significance.

Piyush Goyal holds the Railways portfolio along with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. The procurement of paddy and wheat at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) from the farmers is done through Goyal’s ministry.

Farmers are demanding a guarantee on the MSP for the purchase of all the crops for which the government declares the MSP. The government announces MSP for 23 crops every year.

Prior to the Railway Minister, Union Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has also denied the allegations of farmer organisations. In a conversation with IANS, Tomar had said a few days ago that it is not that farmers have not been consulted, there have been a lot of discussions earlier about the new agrarian reforms.

He said there are nearly 14 to 15 crore farmers in the country and whenever any law is made, then it is not possible to seek advice from everyone, but it is a process. M S Swaminathan spent many years consulting all stakeholders on the new farm laws.

The National Farmers Commission also took many years taking advice from the stakeholders. Several farmer representatives were consulted, too. The APMC Model Act was then formulated and sent to the states and was widely debated. Thus, it is incorrect to say that the advice of several stakeholders was not taken, Tomar said.

Earlier, Tomar had written an emotional letter to the farmers on Thursday, mentioning the steps taken by the Modi government for the progress of the agriculture sector, including measures taken for the interests of farmers through the three laws. A 100-page e-booklet has also been released by the government which highlights the benefits accruing to the farmers through the new reforms.

National News

Ex-PM Manmohan Singh and wife take Covid vax at AIIMS




Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife received Covid vaccine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here on Thursday, officials informed IANS.

Sources said that Singh and his wife had registered through the Co-WIN portal.

The 88-year-old former Prime Minister on Thursday joined many political leaders who have received the jabs against Covid-19 which is currently rolling out to population prioritised as per age and medical conditions.

Singh was the 13th PM of India who assumed the office for two full terms under the government run by United Progressive Alliance from 2004 till 2014.

The phase three of Covid vaccination covering 27 crore above 60 and those above 45 with comorbidities began from March 1. The drive took-off with Prime Minister Narendra Modi receiving the vaccine at the AIIMS.

Since then, political leaders and celebrities have started taking the vaccination.

The previous two phases were started with the vaccination of around three crore of healthcare and frontline workers in India.

Vaccines are being provided free of charge at the government health facilities and on a payment basis in the private health facilities. All private hospitals can charge Rs 150 for vaccines and Rs 100 for service charges fixed by the central government.

As per the latest update, 1,66,16,048 (Thursday noon figure) doses of corona vaccine have been administered in the country since the drive began on January 16.

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Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon meet Arunachal Pradesh CM




Bollywood stars Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon met Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu before commencing the shoot for their new horror comedy “Bhediya”, along with the films unit.

Also present were Bamang Felix, Minister of Home and Interstate Affairs, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and Commissioner to HCM Sonam Chombay.

The Amar Kaushik directorial also features Abhishek Banerjee and Deepak Dobriyal. “Bhediya” is scripted by National Award-winner Niren Bhatt.

Jio Studios & Dinesh Vijan present, “Bhediya”, which is slated to release in cinemas on April 14, 2022.

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National News

Amit Shah and J.P. Nadda meet WB leaders to shortlist candidates




Initial discussion to shortlist names of the party candidates for the upcoming West Bengal Assembly polls started at BJP chief J.P. Nadda’ residence on Thursday.

Senior leaders from the state, party in-charge and co-in-charge for West Bengal were attending the meeting. Union Home Minister Amit Shah also reached Nadda’s residence.

BJP national vice president Mukul Roy, national general secretary and state in-charge Kailash Vijayvargiya, co-in-charge Arvind Menon, state unit president Dilip Ghosh, and former close aide of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and former minister Suvendu Adhikari were present in the meeting.

BJP sources said that on wednesday core committee of the West Bengal party unit shortlisted the names of the probable candidates recommended by district units.

“In the meeting going at Nadda’s residence, list of probable names will further shorten before being submitted in the BJP’s Central Election Committee (CEC) which will select the candidates for the West Bengal polls,” he said.

The BJP’s CEC meeting is scheduled for Thursday evening in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend.

Sources said that in the party CEC meeting the first list of the BJP candidates for 60 Assembly constituencies will be finalised. Polling in these seats will be held in the first two phases on March 27 and April 1.

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