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Farmers protest turns violent, stir to continue



Farmers Protest

New Delhi, Oct 2 : As the nation celebrated Gandhi Jayanti, hundreds of farmers on Tuesday clashed with police at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border when they were prevented from entering the national capital and lathi-charged and tear-gassed after water canons failed to subdue them.

While both sides said there was agreement on some of the demands of the farmers, there was no clarity on the main issues — loan waiver and higher MSP — raised by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU). A few thousand farmers were still camping at the border in Ghazipur on Tuesday night.

Farmers Protest

Photos: Kisan Rally turns violent, clashes as farmers try to enter Delhi

Hours after the violence, representatives of the BKU which had planned to conclude its 10-day protest at the Kisan Ghat in Delhi met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and discussed the charter of 15 demands that included loan waiver and higher Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their produce.

Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Sekhawat, who was present in the talks, told the media later that consensus has been reached between the government and the protestors on many of the demands. How to go ahead on fulfilling these demands was also discussed, he said.

“The government is silent on our demand for loan waiver. Also, it said that fixation of Minimum Support Price based on ‘C2’ input factor as per the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations will be done only in future,” said BKU General Secretary Yudhvir Singh.

Singh said the agitation will continue till the farmers were allowed to go to Kisan Ghat, the memorial of former Prime Minister Charan Singh, and Rajghat, the memorial for Mahatma Gandhi.

Farmers Protest

Police-farmers clash near Delhi,

Earlier in the day, continuing their 10-day march from Haridwar in Uttarakhand to the national capital, thousands of protesting farmers were prevented from entering Delhi. When they tried to forcibly move ahead by breaking police barricades, police used water canons and batons that left over a dozen agitators injured. Several rounds of tear gas were also fired.

Prohibitory orders banning the assembly of five or more persons have been clamped in several areas near the border and will continue till October 8.

Defending the crackdown, Deputy Commissioner of Police Pankaj Kumar Singh said permission to hold the march had been denied and the farmers’ entry to Delhi was illegal.

The protest led to a political slug-fest, with the opposition slamming the Modi government for the crackdown on the farmers and the BJP calling the agitation “politically motivated”.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi flayed the Centre for not accepting the loan waiver demand and said that farmers today “cannot even talk about their ordeal”.

“Farmers from all states, be it Maharashtra, Haryana or Uttar Pradesh, have been pleading with folded hands for a loan waiver. Modi, in the last four years, waived off loans of 15-20 people to the tune of Rs 320,000 crore but he is not bothered about farmers,” Gandhi said in Wardha in Maharashtra.

The Congress passed a resolution at Wardha condemning the “arrogant and barbaric Modi government”.

“Reeling under debt, the poor farmers had come to remind Modi of his promise of providing farmers a profit of 50 per cent or more over and above the cost of production and seek loan waivers.

“Skyrocketing prices of diesel and fertilisers have already broken the farmers’ back and to compound their misery, the Modi government has imposed 5-18 per cent Goods and Services Tax on agricultural goods,” the party said.

Expressing his solidarity, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said: “Why are farmers not being allowed to enter Delhi? This is wrong.”

Samajwadi Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav blamed the Modi government for not fulfilling the promises made to farmers.

“In the last five years, over 50,000 farmers have committed suicide, with most suicides occurring in BJP-ruled states,” he said.

Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury blamed the Modi government for the “unprecedented agrarian crisis in the country”.

The Bharatiya Janata Party on the other hand said the farmers’ protest was politically motivated.

“There is a reason behind it. Because this is an election year… For so many people there are different motives. That is the only reason. Otherwise, farmers across the country are very satisfied and thankful to the Modi government,” Minister Shekhawat said.

He said the Modi government had announced assured Minimum Support Price (MSP) with 50 per cent profit over the production cost but the farmers were not concerned about the formula used while fixing MSP.

The farmers want revoking the ban on 10 year old tractors in the National Capital Region, reduction in electricity tariff, implementation of the recommendations of the M.S. Swaminathan Commission on remunerative prices and payment of sugarcane arrears among others.


‘Economic disruption to deter RBI from quantifying FY21 growth forecast’

The RBI’s MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) is expected to release its resolution on the monetary policy after their meet on September 29 to October 1, 2020.




Reserve Bank of India RBI

New Delhi, Sep 27 : The dynamic economic upheaval unleashed by Covid-19 pandemic might hinder the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from giving a pin-pointed growth as well as inflation forecast in the upcoming monetary policy report, experts opined.

The existing legislations mandate the RBI to come out with a growth and inflation forecast twice in an interval of six-months in the monetary policy report.

Expectedly, the report is slated to be issued with the upcoming policy review on October 1. The report was last issued in February.

“Given the continuing uncertainty on the economic revival, it is difficult to say whether RBI will come out with clear forecasts on the GDP print for FY21,” said Suman Chowdhury Chief Analytical Officer at Acuite Ratings and Research.

“It has, however already highlighted the risks of a material contraction in economic output in the previous MPC report. As regards inflation, it is likely to reiterate its expectation of a moderation in the CPI inflation over the next few months due to lesser supply constraints, higher crop output in kharif season and also the favourable base effect kicking in.”

According to Brickwork Ratings said: “With uncertainty regarding the pandemic looming large, the RBI may not provide a GDP forecast for FY21 in the upcoming MPC meeting. As in the previous statements, the RBI may continue to talk about economic contraction without quantifying the magnitude.”

“Given the continued surge in Covid-19 cases in the country’s major hubs, which is hindering the recovery process, we expect the Q2FY21 GDP to shrink by 13.5 per cent.”

In April, the RBI’s Monetary Policy Report said that the global economy may slump into recession in 2020.

The report noted that the the coronavirus pandemic, lockdown and the expected contraction in global output will weigh heavily on the growth outlook. The actual outturn would depend upon the speed with which the outbreak is contained and economic activity returns to normalcy, said the Monetary Policy Report for April 2020.

As per the report, due to the highly fluid circumstances in which incoming data produce shifts in the outlook for growth on a daily basis, forecasts for real GDP growth in India are not provided in the Monetary Policy Report, awaiting a clear fix on the intensity, spread and duration of Covid-19.

It is widely expected that persistently high inflation fanned in part due to supply side disruptions along with seasonal factors will deter the Reserve Bank to administer a dose of lending rate cut during the upcoming monetary policy review.

Notably, the expected move will come at a time when industrial output is at historic low due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The RBI’s MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) is expected to release its resolution on the monetary policy after their meet on September 29 to October 1, 2020.

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Serum Institute CEO has a question for govt: ‘Will it have Rs 80k cr to give each Indian Covid vaccine’

Serum Institute of India has the licence to produce and market two of the leading vaccine candidates, one being developed by AstraZeneca and the Oxford University, and the other one by US company Novavax.



Covid 19 Vaccine

New Delhi: Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawala Saturday asked if the government will have Rs 80,000 crore available over the next one year to buy and distribute the Covid-19 vaccine.

Terming it as “next concerning challenge” that needs to be tackled, Poonawala tweeted, “Quick question; will the government of India have 80,000 crores available, over the next one year? Because that’s what @MoHFW_INDIA needs, to buy and distribute the vaccine to everyone in India.”

He also tagged the prime minister’s office in his tweet. “I ask this question, because we need to plan and guide, vaccine manufacturers both in India and overseas to service the needs of our country in terms of procurement and distribution,” he added.

SII, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has the licence to produce and market two of the leading vaccine candidates, one being developed by AstraZeneca and the Oxford University, and the other one by US company Novavax. The Oxford University vaccine is currently undergoing phase-II and phase-III trials in India. Earlier, the institute had announced that it will make the Oxford vaccine available at USD 3 for low-and-middle-income countries including India.

Apart from bringing some of the leading contenders of a coronavirus vaccine to India, the Serum is developing its own vaccine as well. It is partnering with SpyBiotech, a spin-off of Oxford University, for this purpose. Their vaccine candidate has entered into combined phase-I/phase-II clinical trials, which are being done in Australia. The trials began in the first week of September.

Meanwhile, while addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that as the largest vaccine producing country of the world, India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help people across the world. “As the largest vaccine producing country of the world, I want to give one more assurance to the global community today. India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis,” PM Modi said.

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Cinema halls to reopen in West Bengal from October 1: Mamata Banerjee

Mamata also said musical, dance and magic shows would be permitted in the state from next month.



pvr cinemas theater hall

New Delhi: Cinema halls and open air theatres will be allowed to operate in West Bengal from October 1 with limited number of participants, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Saturday.

She also said musical, dance and magic shows would be permitted in the state from next month.

“To return to normalcy, Jatras, Plays, OATs, Cinemas & all musical, dance, recital & magic shows shall be allowed to function with 50 participants or less from 1 Oct, subject to adherence to physical distancing norms, wearing of masks & compliance to precautionary protocols,” the chief minister said on Twitter.

Cinema halls have remained shut since the nationwide coronavirus lockdown began in late March.

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