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Centre offers Punjab farmers to hold more talks on farm laws

The new farm laws will encourage Mandis to provide better services to the farmers, they claimed.

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Farmers Protest

New Delhi: After a meeting of the representatives of farmers’ bodies from Punjab with Union ministers on Friday on the new farm laws enacted by the Centre remained inconclusive, the government offered to hold more discussions to resolve the matter.

Talking to the media after the meeting, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said there is a wide gap between their (farmers’) demands and Central government’s stand, which doesn’t look like resolving soon, and therefore, it was decided to continue the talks on the issue.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Som Prakash, MoS, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, were also present in the meeting held at Vigyan Bhavan. The representatives of 29 farmers’ bodies from Punjab attended the meeting.

Tomar said, “The meeting was held in a harmonious atmosphere. After the farmers expressed their views and we explained the government’s stand, it came to our notice that there is a wide gap between their demands and the central government’s position. So I requested them to have more discussions on the matter.”

He said various issues related to farmers’ welfare were discussed at length during the interaction. “I assured them that the government of India is always committed to protect the interest of the farmers and open for discussions for their welfare.

During the interaction, the ministers also told the farmers that procurement of farm produce on MSP and the Mandi system will continue as before. The new farm laws will encourage Mandis to provide better services to the farmers, they claimed.

Tomar said the government is taking several measures for the welfare of the farmers with a specific focus on ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, and the new farm laws would not only provide freedom of choice to the farmers to sell their produce at remunerative price, but also safeguard their interests.

India

Right to salary a fundamental right: Delhi HC

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Delhi High Court

New Delhi, Jan 20 : The Delhi High Court has pulled up the municipal corporations for the non-payment of salaries and pensions to their employees, noting that paucity of funds cannot be an excuse and that right to receive pay is a fundamental right enshrined under the Constitution of India.

A division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli was hearing a batch of petitions in relation to the non-payment of salaries and pensions to the employees of Delhi municipal corporations, particularly North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NrDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).

“Reason assigned for non-payment of timely salaries is stated to be paucity of funds which, as is well settled, cannot be an excuse for non-payment, keeping in view the fact that the right to receive salary and pension is a fundamental right enshrined under Article 21 of Constitution and non-payment would have direct bearing on quality of life,” the court stated.

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NCP should decide on poll alliance soon: Goa leader

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Sharad Pawar

The Nationalist Congress Party should decide its political strategy for the 2022 Assembly polls in Goa well ahead of time, NCP state president Jose Philip D’Souza said on Wednesday.

D’Souza also said that party supremo Sharad Pawar was scheduled to arrive in Goa on Wednesday for a brief visit to meet with the state executive committee members and discuss strategy for the upcoming polls.

“We will be discussing our electoral agenda with Sharad Pawarji, because elections are just a year away,” D’Souza said.

“Planning should be done in advance. If like minded parties want to go together for the 2022 elections, it has to be decided now. We will be discussing this issue,” D’Souza also said.
The party had fared poorly in the 2017 Assembly polls winning just one seat in the 40-member Goa Assembly, after much delayed talks for an alliance with the Congress failed.

D’Souza claims that it was imperative for the party to ensure that if the party was to ally with a “like-minded” party for the 2022 polls, the deal had to be sewn together sooner rather than later.

“Whether we should go with an alliance with other parties or not, it has to be decided now. If we leave it for too late, with a month or two to go for elections, then there is limited scope for discussion and things can go wrong. The talks should begin now,” D’Souza said, adding that he would be discussing the matter with Pawar.

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PM must wake up to reality about poverty: Chidambaram

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chidambaram

A day after 15 migrant construction workers, including a child, were crushed to death by a truck in Gujarat’s Surat, senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Wednesday slammed the Modi government at the Centre, saying it is time that the Prime Minister woke up to reality and not repeat the statistics about toilets, housing and open defection-free numbers fed by bureaucrats.

In a statement, Chidambaram said, “The tragedy of 15 migrant construction workers being run over and killed in Gujarat must open our eyes to the reality of poverty in India.”

Firing salvos at the government, former Finance Minister Chidambaram asked “why were the workers sleeping on the roadside? Is not the contractor obliged to provide them shelter near the construction site? Where do they wash, bathe, cook and keep their children? On the roadside in the open?”

“The Prime Minister must wake up to the reality and not repeat the ‘statistics’ about toilets, housing and ODF fed by bureaucrats,” he said.

His remarks came a day after at least 15 migrant labourers from Rajasthan, including a child sleeping near a road were crushed to death and six others injured by a speeding dumper truck in Surat.

The incident happened when the dumper truck lost control and ran over some 20 sugarcane farm labourers. Twelve were killed on the spot, one died while being shifted to hospital and two succumbed later during treatment while six others were being treated in hospital.

–IANS

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