PM promises to hold back farm laws for 18 months

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 2/1/2021 12:30:39 AM

NEW DELHI, Jan 30: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the Supreme Court has paused implementation of the three contentious farm laws for three months while his government stands by its proposal to pause them for 18 months that remains on the table with the talks with the irate farmers.
He said the proposal would have ensured a breakthrough to end the farmers' struggle on Delhi's borders for over two months, but ut was rejected by the farmer leaders, who are adamant on scrapping of the three laws.
"During the All-Party meet on Saturday, PM Narendra Modi assured that GoI (Government of India) is approaching the farmers' issue with an open mind. The PM said GoI's stand is same as it was on January 22 - the proposal by the Agriculture Minister still stands," Union Parliamentary affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told reporters.
He said the Prime Minister also stressed that Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told the farmers that he is a phone call away whenever they want further talks. He said the PM said the government stands by the statement ovTomar on January 22 and 23 that the government is prepared for the talks. The PM said the government remains committed to the Agriculture Minister's offer to put the laws on hold.
The all-party meeting took place two days before the presentation of the Union Budget on Monday, a day after all opposition parties boycotted the President's address to a joint sitting of Parliament, stressing that the farm laws will benefit the farmers and not harm them as they presume. As regards the violence on the Republic Day, the Prime Minister was quoted saying that "the law will take its course."
The opposition parties condemned the violence at the Red Fort on the Republic Day, but they also demanded an investigation into how "outside elements" had infiltrated the farmers' movement. The farmer leaders have also blamed Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu, close to the BJP, for hijacking their movement and instigating clashes and planting a Sikh religious flag at the Red Fort.
The opposition parties also protested against the government slapping cases against senior journalists for the Republic Day violence despite the fact that they were not there.
Meanwhile the Home Ministry on Saturday suspended the mobile and internet services in the border areas of Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur, epicentres of the farmers' protest, from 11 pm for 24 hours. Its notification said: "It is necessary and expedient to order the temporary suspension of internet services in the areas of Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri, and their adjoining areas in the NCT of Delhi from 11 pm on January 29 to 11 pm on January 31."



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