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Tuesday,02-March-2021

National News

Protest has gone out of farmer leaders’ control: Manohar Lal Khattar

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Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday condemned the violent incidents in New Delhi, especially at the Red Fort, and said the farmers’ protest has now gone out of control of their leaders and has deviated from its direction.

He appealed to the farmers to return to their homes after Tuesday’s unfortunate incidents.

The Chief Minister said a special Cabinet meeting convened here on Tuesday evening was unanimous in its view that the people must together foil the nefarious intentions of anti-social elements and cooperate in maintaining peace and harmony.

No Indian could tolerate unfurling of a flag other than the national flag at the Red Fort. Doing so is an insult to those great freedom fighters and martyrs who sacrificed their lives so that the Tricolour could fly high on the ramparts of the Red Fort, Khattar added.

“Our freedom fighters did not earn freedom for us to spread such anarchy,” he said.

The Chief Minister said the farmers’ organisations had given a firm assurance for a peaceful protest in Delhi but Tuesday’s incidents has proved that the leadership of the protest has gone into the hands of those saying something and doing the exact opposite.

Therefore, now the farmers should think about which direction the protest is taking, he said, adding, in a democracy there is enough scope to resolve differences.

All kinds of differences could be resolved through mutual dialogue, the Chief Minister added.

Crime

Karnataka minister Ramesh Jarkiholi caught in sex scandal

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A CD allegedly featuring Karnataka water resources minister Ramesh Jarkiholi seeking sexual favours was released to news channels on Tuesday.

In this regard a social activist, Dinesh Kallahalli lodged a complaint with the Bengaluru city police commissioner seeking protection for the victim.

After filing the complaint Kallahalli told reporters that this CD contained visuals of the minister allegedly seeking sexual favours from a victim. “Complaint is filed by me and not by the victim as she is fearing for her life,” he said.

Jarakiholi comes from one of the most powerful political families in the state and is a sugar baron from Belagavi district.

He is one of the 17 defectors from the Congress and the JDS whose defection resulted in the collapse of the Congress-JDS government in the state in 2019.

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JP Aggarwal to head Congress screening committee for Bengal

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Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday appointed former MP and ex-Delhi Congress chief JP Aggarwal as the chairman of the steering committee for West Bengal with Rajasthan leader Mahesh Joshi and Maharashtra leader Naseem Khan as the members of the panel.

Congress in-charge for Bengal, Jitin Prasada, state unit chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, CLP Abdul Mannan and Secretary B.P. Singh have been named ex-officio members of the committee.

The screening committee will select a panel of candidates for the ensuing Assembly polls in Bengal that will be finalised by the Central Election Committee (CEC) of the Congress headed by Sonia Gandhi.

The Congress is contesting 92 seats in the state in alliance with the Left and the Indian Secular Front (ISF).

Congress leader Anand Sharma had raised objection to the Congress-Left-ISF alliance in Bengal, following which Chowdhury and Prasada defended it.

Sharma said the core ideology of the party cannot be compromised, adding that the Congress cannot be selective in fighting communalists but must do so in all its manifestations.

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Shiromani Akali Dal demands two-day debate on farmers’ issues

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The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Tuesday requested the Vidhan Sabha Speaker to allocate two days for an exclusive discussion on issues concerning the farmers during the ongoing budget session. It also demanded that the Congress government announce a minimum support price (MSP) for vegetables and fruits.

The SAD legislative wing, which handed over a representation in this regard to Speaker Rana K.P. Singh under the leadership of Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, said the two-day discussion, besides covering the issues of the farm loan waiver promise, farmer suicides and the Congress government’s failure to take up the issue of repeal of the three agricultural laws with the Centre, should also spell out the way forward.

The representation said one such way ahead was announcing MSP for all vegetables and fruits immediately.

It said this measure would provide much needed security to vegetable and potato growers as well as kinnow growers, among others.

The SAD legislators, while informing the Speaker that the state was in the midst of an agrarian crisis, said “the major reason for this is the complete loan waiver promise made by then Pradesh Congress President Amarinder Singh in January 2017.”

They said Amarinder Singh had clearly promised that in case the Congress party forms the government in Punjab it would waive off all farmer loans be it from government or private banks, cooperative societies or arhatiyas or commission agents.

The legislators said the Congress government’s failure to implement the loan waiver scheme had resulted in 1,500 farmer suicides and indebtedness had increased because the people believed the Chief Minister and did not pay their loan instalments.

They said the Congress party had also promised Rs 10 lakh compensation and a government job to the families of all the farmers who committed suicide due to indebtedness but even this promise was not kept.

The SAD legislators said similarly farmers were very perturbed at the failure of the Punjab government to come to the aid of those protesting against the farm laws.

They said the Punjab government participated in meetings in which the three agricultural Ordinances, which later took the shape of laws, were finalized.

The lawmakers added that the Punjab government had also amended the Agricultural Produce Marketing Act (APMC) in 2017, months after it formed the government in the state.

“The amended APMC has the same provisions as contained in the three central Acts and that is why farmers are demanding it be scrapped.”

They said the Punjab farmers were also angry that their government had not defended them against persecution by Delhi Police and that the Chief Minister had failed to take up the issues of farmers with the Centre.

The SAD legislators also pointed out that other agricultural issues which needed a resolution included timely release of hundreds of crores owed to sugarcane farmers and ensuring an increase of the state Assured Price on the pattern of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The members, while requesting the Speaker to allow this discussion on priority, said not doing so would be tantamount to betraying the ‘annadaata’.

“We are confident that you will not disappoint the peasantry and will go down in the annals of history as the custodian of the House who put the ‘annadaata’ first”, they told the Speaker.

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