New Delhi: While addressing an all-party meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asserted that the government’s proposal to protesting farmers on new farm laws still stands. “The resolution should be found through dialogue. We all have to think about the nation”, PM Modi said referring to the ongoing farmers protest at Delhi borders.Also Read - Internet Suspended For 2 Days at Delhi Borders Amid Farmers' Protest
“I want to reiterate what Narendra Singh Tomar told farmers. He had said- We’ve not reached to consensus but we’re giving you (farmers) the offer and you may go and deliberate. He told farmers that he was just a phone call away”, PM Modi stated at the virtual meeting. Also Read - Amit Shah Defers West Bengal Visit Amid Israel Embassy Blast, Farmers' Protest
Chaired by PM Modi, the meeting saw the presence of several senior leaders. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, TMC’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut, and SAD’s Balwinder Singh Bhunder spoke at length on farmers agitation.
The meeting comes days after thousands of protesting farmers clashed with the police during the tractor rally called by farmer unions on January 26 to highlight their demand for repeal of the Centre’s three farm laws.
Many of the protesters, driving tractors, reached the Red Fort and entered the monument. Some protesters even raised religious flags on its domes and the flagstaff at the ramparts, where the national flag is unfurled by the Prime Minister on Independence Day.
MHA Orders Suspension of Internet at Border Sites:
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has temporarily suspended internet services at the Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri borders, where farmers have been protesting. Apart from the three borders of Delhi, internet services will remain suspended in their adjoining areas too effective from 11 pm of January 29 to 11 pm of January 31. The decision has been taken to “maintain public safety and averting public emergency” under Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules 2017.
Sadbhavana Diwas (Day-long Fast) Observed on Gandhi’s Death Anniversary:
Farmer leaders protesting against contentious laws observed ‘Sadbhavana Diwas’ on Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary by holding a day-long fast at the various protest sites.
What Farmers Want And Why Are They Protesting?
Scores of armers have been protesting at Delhi’s borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, demanding a rollback of the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
While the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporations, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring better opportunities to farmers and introduce new technologies in agriculture.