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Ahmed Patel’s role in strengthening Congress will always be remembered: PM Modi

A top strategist of the Congress and a most-trusted ally of its president Sonia Gandhi, Patel (71) died in the early hours of Wednesday.

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Narendra Modi

Condoling the death of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said his role in strengthening the opposition party will always be remembered.

Patel spent years in public life, serving the society, Modi noted.

A top strategist of the Congress and a most-trusted ally of its president Sonia Gandhi, Patel (71) died in the early hours of Wednesday.

He was admitted to the Medanta hospital in Gurugram and had been critical for a few days. He had contracted COVID-19 and subsequently, developed complications.

“Saddened by the demise of Ahmed Patel Ji. He spent years in public life, serving society. Known for his sharp mind, his role in strengthening the Congress Party would always be remembered. Spoke to his son Faisal and expressed condolences. May Ahmed Bhai’s soul rest in peace,” the prime minister said in a tweet.

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SC: Delhi Police to decide whether farmers be allowed in city to protest

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The Supreme Court on Monday told the Centre that it is for the Delhi Police to decide whether to allow farmers to enter Delhi or not. The top court stressed that it is the Delhi Police who have the authority over the issue and not the Supreme Court.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde said “we have not taken charge of the matter except one issue…apparently our intervention has been grossly misunderstood. We are not going to tell you about your powers.”

The observation from the top court came after the Attorney General K.K. Venugopal said the Centre is seeking restraint orders against farmers from entering Delhi as court has taken charge of the matter.

The Chief Justice said it is not for the court to decide how many farmers should be allowed in the city and the nature of conditions to be imposed on them.

The top court insisted that Delhi Police are the only authority to decide it and not the court.

The Chief Justice said it is not for the court to decide how many farmers should be allowed in the city and the nature of conditions to be imposed on them.

The Delhi Police have moved the top court seeking direction to restrain farmer unions from conducting tractor rally as a method to disrupt the Republic Day celebrations.

The AG insisted before the top court to issue directions to restrain farmers from disrupting the Republic Day parade, the Chief Justice replied “Does the Union of India want the Supreme Court to tell that you have powers under the Delhi Police Act.”

The top court will conduct further hearing on the matter on Wednesday.

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Ready for any alternative to law repeal demand, Tomar to farmers

Tomar, who is leading the negotiations on behalf of the government, has repeatedly reiterated that whatever provisions would be appropriate in the interests of the farmers of the country, the Modi government would consider including them in the new farm laws.

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narendra singh tomar

New Delhi: Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Sunday again appealed to the farmers unions to suggest ways to resolve the deadlock over the agrarian reforms implemented by the Modi government.

Prior to the next round of talks scheduled on January 19 with the farmer unions leading the protests against the farm laws passed by parliament last year, he said that if the farmer unions could suggest any alternative solution, apart from the repeal of the three Central farm laws, the government would certainly consider it.

On the other hand, as the ongoing farmer agitation at the borders of the national Capital has entered the 53rd day, the farmer unions have clearly said they would continue with all their programmes announced earlier to intensify the protest.

The Agriculture Minister in a statement to IANS said in the next round of talks, the farmers unions should discuss the three farm laws point-wise and express their reservations, and the Central government would consider these. Apart from repeal of the three laws, the government would seriously consider whatever alternatives the farmers suggest, he added.

With a view to improving agriculture and allied sectors, the Central government implemented the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020. Though the Supreme Court has stayed the implementation of these laws and set up am expert committee to resolve the issue, the Central government has kept open the path for dialogue with the farmer unions.

Tomar, who is leading the negotiations on behalf of the government, has repeatedly reiterated that whatever provisions would be appropriate in the interests of the farmers of the country, the Modi government would consider including them in the new farm laws.

But the leaders of farmer unions are adamant on that the three laws be repealed. The Central government has said it is ready to present its case before the committee set up by the Supreme Court to find solutions to the problems of the farmers, but the protesting farmer unions are not ready to appear before it.

The protesting farmers are adamant on repealing the three Union farm laws and demanding a legal guarantee for procurement of crops at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) while the Union government has already accepted two other core demands related to power subsidy and stubble burning.

Union Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal had, on October 14, first held talks with the farmer leaders to resolve the misgivings of the farmers regarding the new farm laws. The ministerial-level talks began after this, but the nine rounds of talks till now have been inconclusive on the main demand. Apart from Tomar, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Som Prakash, were leading the government side in the talks.

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Centre-farmers’ standoff will resolve through dialogues: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu

Vice President pointed out that the people of India always accorded a very high status to agriculture and this was the reason why our festivals and rituals are closely associated with agriculture.

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Rajya Sabha VP Naidu

New Delhi, Jan 18: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said that the current standoff between the protesting farmers and the Centre will resolve only through dialogues.

“We cannot forget the farmers’ efforts in increasing the food production even during the Covid times,” Naidu said while speaking at an awards ceremony jointly organised by Rythu Nestham and Muppavarapu Foundation at the Swarna Bharat Trust in Hyderabad.

He also added that he sees the possibility of a certain meeting ground.

“Restriction-free marketing of farm produce has been a long-standing demand. One country and one food zone has been the demand for a long time. The development of the country is closely tied to farmer’s progress,” Naidu said.

Comparing the farmers’ compassion with that of a mother, he said: “It is the duty of everybody to support the farmers.”

The Vice President lauded the farmers for rendering a great service to the nation during the pandemic by pro3ducing record food grains despite hardship.

He also appreciated the efforts shown by the doctors, sanitation workers, police and media personnel during the pandemic.

“Both the Centre and state governments should work as ‘Team India’ in addressing the needs of the farmers. Apart from ensuring remunerative prices, the farmers should be provided with timely and affordable credit.

“There was also a need to increase the cold storage facilities and the godowns at all levels. As a matter-of-fact, every tehsil must have a cold storage facility,” Naidu added.

Vice President pointed out that the people of India always accorded a very high status to agriculture and this was the reason why our festivals and rituals are closely associated with agriculture.

Referring to a FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) report which cautioned about the food crisis in the coming times, Naidu asserted saying, “If we support our farmers, India would not only be food secure, but would also be able to feed the world.”

Naidu emphasised for a change in perspective towards agriculture among the public and urged the youth to become proactive partners in promoting farming.

Earlier in the day, Naidu interacted with the youth undergoing training at the Swarna Bharat Trust and advised them to maintain discipline, eat healthy food and always remain fit. He said that the youth in India were highly talented and their skills need to be upgraded through regular training.

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