New Delhi :Thousands of farmers ended their 10-day Kisan Kranti Yatra after arriving at Kisan Ghat in the capital New Delhi.
The Central government allowed them to enter Delhi in the early hours of Wednesday, ending the prolonged standoff between the police personnel and protesting farmers.
Led by Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Naresh Tikait, over 400 tractors carrying thousands of farmers reached Kisan Ghat. Tikait declared it as the “victory of farmers” and said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has failed in its “motives”.
“The farmers remained unfazed despite all the hardships. We have been marching for 12 days now, farmers are tired as well. We will continue to demand our rights but for now we are ending the march,” Tikait told IANS at Kisan Ghat.
Shouting anti-BJP slogans, the farmers, with blisters on feet, reached Kisan Ghat at around 2 a.m. on Wednesday.
The farmers said they have reached an agreement with the Central government, which, according to them, has accepted “most of the demands”.
They said that their prime demand of increasing the price of crops has been agreed upon by the government.
“A formal announcement in this regard will be made within six days by the government,” Rakesh Tikait, national spokesperson of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), told IANS, shortly before the farmers called off their march.
The government has also assured the farmers of bearing the costs for the repair of tractors that were damaged during the standoff with the police personnel at Uttar Pradesh-Delhi border earlier on Tuesday.
The farmers raised slogans against the BJP-led Central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
They also hailed former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh — widely regarded as a hero of the country’s peasants, and applauded the coming together of farmers.
The top leadership of the protesting farmers later addressed the gathering and said that they should be united in their future struggles too.
At around 5.30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, the farmers began dispersing from the Kisan Ghat.
Amid massive deployment of security personnel at Uttar Pradesh-Delhi border, the farmers reinforced their march to the national capital after obtaining necessary permissions from the administration.
Earlier on Tuesday, as the farmers tried to enter Delhi, police stopped them on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, triggering violence that left some of them injured.
The farmers have a charter of 15 demands including loan waiver and fair prices for crops, which they want implemented without delay.
Their demands include complete loan waiver, revoking ban on 10-year-old tractors in the National Capital Region (NCR), reduction in electricity tariff, implementation of the recommendations of the M.S. Swaminathan Commission on remunerative prices and payment of sugarcane arrears among others.
The protesters started their 10-day march from Haridwar in Uttarakhand led by the BKU and on Tuesday, they reached the Uttar Pradesh-Delhi border. There was heavy deployment of security forces at the border.
Ricin, which is extracted from castor beans, after specific treatment is highly poisonous and has been used by the Al Qaeda terrorist group to carry out biological attacks.
Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs
Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.
“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.
This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.
According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.
Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara
Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.
The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.
“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.
Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha
New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.
With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.
Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.
Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.
However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.
The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.
The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.
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