Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates: Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad meet President, seek withdrawal of farm laws

12:49 (IST)

Farmers Protest LATEST Updates

Rahul Gandhi urges Centre to convene joint session of Parliament

As per news agency PTI, Rahul Gandhi has also urged the Centre to convene a joint session of Parliament. “If the prime minister does not take these farm laws back, the country will suffer,” he adds.

12:44 (IST)

Farmers Protest LATEST Updates

No democracy in India, says Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi on Thursday addressed the media after meeting President Ram Nath Kovind. He accused the Narendra Modi government of making money for “crony capitalists”. “Whoever will try to stand against him [the prime minister] will be called terrorist,” he said.

“There is no democracy in India,” Gandhi adds. “It can be in your imagination, but not in reality.”

12:38 (IST)

Farmers Protest LATEST Updates

Priyanka Gandhi slams Centre for ignoring farmers demands

After being detained by the Delhi Police, Priyanka Gandhi hits out at the Centre for ignoring the demands of the farmers. “Only by listening to the demands of the farmers will they solve the problem of the farmers,” she says.

12:26 (IST)

Farmers Protest LATEST Updates

Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad meet President

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury meet President Ram Nath Kovind in Rashtrapati Bhavan to discuss the agricultural laws, reports ANI. “I told the president that these farm laws are anti-farmer. The country has seen that farmers have stood up against these laws," said Gandhi.

12:22 (IST)

Farmers Protest LATEST Updates

Priyanka Gandhi taken into custody by Delhi Police

The Delhi Police has taken Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi into custody, while she was trying to participate in a march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to submit a memorandum against the new farm laws to President Ram Nath Kovind, reports ANI.

She went on to criticise the government for stopping her party from holding a demonstration against the new farm laws. “Any dissent against the government is classified as having elements of terror,” she added.

12:20 (IST)

Farmers Protest LATEST Updates

Congress leaders will march to Rashtrapati Bhavan to meet President: Shashi Tharoor

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has said that party members will march to Rashtrapati Bhavan to meet President Ram Nath Kovind and discuss the farm laws, even though the Delhi Police have refused to give permission for the demonstration, reports ANI.

12:19 (IST)

Farmers Protest LATEST Updates

Delhi Police refuses permission to Rahul Gandhi to march to Rashtrapati Bhavan

New Delhi Additional District Commissioner of Police Deepak Yadav on Thursday said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been refused permission to march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan with other party leaders to protest against the farm laws, reports ANI. “However, three leaders who have an appointment at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, will be allowed to go,” Yadav adds.

12:07 (IST)

Farmers Protest LATEST Updates

Thousands of farmers from UP to march to Delhi today

Farmers’ union Kisan Sena announces that thousands of its members from western Uttar Pradesh will march to Delhi today in support of the Centre’s new agriculture laws, reports PTI.

“We have written to the authorities concerned for permission regarding our march to Delhi but have not got reply,” Kisan Sena convener Thakur Gauri Shankar Singh tells PTI. “In any case, around 20,000 of Kisan Sena supporters will be en route to Delhi to meet Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday.

Farmers Protest LATEST Updates:  Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Ghulam Nabi Azad met President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday and sought withdrawal of the recently-enacted farm laws. Gandhi said the Opposition stands with the farmers who have been camping at Delhi’s borders for over a month now, demanding repeal of the legislations.

Earlier, Gandhi had attempted to lead a delegation of Congress leaders to the Rashtrapati Bhavan but was stopped by the Delhi Police. Several leaders including general secretaries Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and K C Venugopal, and senior leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, were detained.

Around 20,000 members of the Kisan Sena, meanwhile, will march from western Uttar Pradesh to Delhi to support the Centre’s farm laws.

Braving the harsh cold, thousands of agitating farmers at the Delhi borders on Thursday remained steadfast in their demands to repeal the Centre's three new agri laws.

Dense fog reduced visibility to just 100 metres in parts of Delhi on Thursday, affecting traffic movement, the India Meteorological Department said, adding the minimum temperature at the Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, settled at 4.5 degrees Celsius.

Security remained tight at the Delhi borders with hundreds of personnel deployed at Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri as thousands of farmers have been staging their protests at the borders for nearly a month now. This has also led to traffic congestion forcing police to divert vehicular movement.

Taking to Twitter on Thursday, the Delhi Traffic Police alerted commuters about the routes that remained closed owing to farmers' agitation and suggested them to take alternative roads.

"The Chilla, Ghazipur borders are closed for traffic coming from Noida & Ghaziabad to Delhi because of farmer protests. People are advised to take alternate route for coming to Delhi via Anad Vihar, DND, Apsara,bhopra& Loni borders," it said in a tweet.

In another tweet, police said Singhu, Auchandi, Piau Maniyari, Saboli and Mangesh borders are closed.

"Pl take alternate routes via Lampur, Safiabad, Palla & Singhu school toll tax borders. Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba & GTK road. Pl avoid Outer Ring Rd, GTK road & NH 44," the traffic police mentioned.

On Wednesday, the protesting farmers hardened their position and asked the government not to repeat the proposal of "meaningless" amendments that they have already rejected but come up with a "concrete" offer in writing for the resumption of talks.

Reading out a reply to the government's talks offer during a press conference, farmer leaders said they are ready for dialogue with an open mind if they get a concrete proposal, but made it clear they will not accept anything less than a complete repeal of the three agriculture laws and legal guarantee for the Minimum Support Price (MSP).

The sixth round of talks on December 9 was cancelled following a deadlock with the farmer unions refusing to budge from their demand for repealing the three laws.

Enacted in September, the three farm laws have been projected by the central government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of MSP and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

The government has repeatedly asserted that the MSP and mandi systems will stay and has accused the Opposition of misleading the farmers.



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