DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2021, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES FARM UNIONS welcome move, seek remunerative prices ● `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 TOMAR: Sad we didn’t succeed in convincing some farmers PANEL FOR more effective MSP, zero-budgeting farming FARMERS’ VICTORY, says Opp, tells Govt don’t bypass House Farmers reap Modi climbdown Vindication in Punjab: Got govt to bend, farmer union leaders say While apologising to countrymen, today I want to say sincerely that perhaps there must have been some deficiency in our penance that we could not explain the truth like the light of the lamp to the farmer brothers MANRAJ GREWAL SHARMA CHANDIGARH, NOVEMBER 19 PM Modi announcing the repeal of the farm laws. ANI HARIKISHAN SHARMA & LIZ MATHEW NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 19 A YEAR since farmers first showed up at the gates of Delhi toprotestagainstthreenewagriculture laws which were later put on hold by the Supreme Court, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Friday that the laws will be repealed and the process completed in the upcoming winter session of Parliament. In an address to the nation, the Prime Minister said: “While apologising to the countrymen, today Iwanttosaysincerelythat perhaps there must have been some deficiency in our penance that we could not explain the truth like the light of the lamp to the farmer brothers (Mein aaj deshvaasiyon sekshamamaangte huey, sachche mann se aur pavitra hriday se kehna chahata hoon ki shayad humaari tapasya mein hi koi kami rahi hogi jiske kaaran diye ke prakash jaisa satya kuchh BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Farmers celebrating after the PM’s announcement, at Delhi’s Singhu border on Friday. Praveen Khanna Khalistani, andolanjeevi: A tale of 2 rollbacks: land how Govt read it wrong, and farm laws, focus was tries to lower Punjab heat outcome, not the process RAVISH TIWARI NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 19 kisan bhaiyon ko hum samjha nahin paye).” “Today is the holy festival of PrakashPurabofGuruNanakDev ji. This is not the time to blame anyone. Today I want to tell you, the entire country, that we have decided to repeal all three agricultural laws. We will complete the constitutional process to repealthesethreeagriculturallaws in the Parliament session that CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE DECISION to repeal the three farm laws marks the most significant step back by the Narendra Modi government since2014andhasitsrootsinthe way it misread – and framed – thegroundswellagainstthelaws in Punjab since last summer. The laws heralded key structural reforms but the Government and the party brought to it its characteristic “you are with us or you are with the enemy” approach. So much so that it let its ally of almost 24 years, Akali Dal, walk away in September2020asitpushedthe legislation through Parliament. Anddiscountedanypossibility that it may need to do political spadework, especially in Punjab where farmers, because of theircircumstances,wouldbe most affected. An illustrative comment came from Principal EconomicAdvisortothe Government Sanjeev Sanyalwhosaidthatthe reforms freed the farmers not just from the licence-permit raj but from700yearsof exploitationset into motion by Alauddin Khilji. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his reply to the President’s address in Rajya CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Sonia to Akhilesh, Stalin to Mamata: Victory for farmers, PM eye on polls ` 82 per kilo ` 110 per kilo ` 135 per kilo ` 66 per Dozen MAHARASHTRA AMRAVATI VIOLENCE WAS PLANNED; CARELESSNESS ON PART OF OFFICERS, SAYS YASHOMATI THAKUR PAGE 4 MANOJ C G & SOURAV ROY BARMAN NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 19 AS PRIME Minister Narendra Modi announced a repeal of the three farm laws, the Opposition called it a victory for farmers, with Congress president Sonia Gandhi saying she hopes the government has “drawn some lessons for the future” and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav dismissing the PM's apology for the government's inabilitytoconvincethefarmersabout the laws as “jhoot ki maafi (fake apology) with an eye on votes”. From the Congress to Left partiesandregionalplayerssuch as the TMC, AAP, RJD, BSP, RLD and DMK – parties that backed the stir against the agricultural lawsoverthelastoneyear–welcomed the announcement on therepealof thelaws,withsome of them arguing that the decisiontorepealthelawswastaken by the government fearing setbacks in the forthcoming Assembly elections. The Congress hit out at the Prime Minister, asking him to apologise to the farming community and to thefamilies of the farmers who died during the protest. In a statement, Sonia Gandhi said the repeal of the farm laws wasavictoryof truth,justiceand non-violence. “The conspiracy that was hatched by those in power against the farmers and ANIL SASI & P VAIDYANATHAN IYER NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 19 THE NARENDRA Modi government was spot on in identifying two big areas, land and farm, for reforms early on in its first and second terms, respectively. But in a remarkable parallel, in both cases, it relied too ● much on its numerical strength and refused to do the heavy lifting of politics. In both cases, it trashed opposing voices and attributed to it motives that effectively derailedthe discourse. What the ruling establish- E EXPLAINED PM says three farm laws to be repealed; BJP calls it in ‘national interest’ workerswasdefeatedtoday and so was the arrogance of dictatorial rulers. In a democracy, decisions should be taken after discussions with all, with the agreement of those impacted and taking the opinion of the Opposition.IhopetheModigovernment has at least drawn some lessons for the future,” she said. “I hope the Prime Minister and the BJP government will leave their stubbornness and arroganceandwillfocusonimplementing policies for farmers’ welfare, will ensure MSP for them and will evolve a consensus with state governments, farmer organisations and Oppositionparties before taking CONTINUEDONPAGE2 THE CITY SINGHU, NOVEMBER 19 THE ANNOUNCEMENT by Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a wave of jubilation at the Singhu protest site on Delhi’s border, where protesters have been camped since November 26 last year, refusing to budge until the farm laws are repealed. And while most have shuffled between Singhu and their homes in Punjab or Haryana, there are some who have remained here without a break, with their lives on hold. SUKHMANI, 32, accountant AnaccountantfromMorinda (From left) Sukhmani; Nachatter Singh Grewal; Ajit Pal; Jasvir Kaur in Mohali, Sukhmani is one of the youngest people volunteering at the main stage at Singhu, from where farm leaders address the crowd. She arrived in December last year -- and hasn’t gone back since. “I worked inChandigarhand lived alone. I saw the farm protests on TV one day, and re- quested my parents to let me come here. I couldn’t see old farmers being beaten up and struggling in winters. My father said no, but I waited and asked him again. I told him I’ll be gone for just a few weeks.” Sukhmani took a bus from Mohali, and once at the border protest site, worked briefly with Khalsa Aid. She then joined the SamyuktKisanMorcha,cleaning the stage at 7 am and serving tea and snacks till 7 pm. “WhenIsteppedintothebus, I took an oath that I won’t return unless the elderly farmers leave too. After a few months, my mother called and asked me to come home. I said no. I speak CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 19 FEAR OF BACKLASH IN UP, PUNJAB POLLS: MVA PAGE 8 INSIDE SC PANEL MEMBER: UNFORTUNATE, POLITICAL HOW OPPOSITION AMPLIFIED PROTESTS FIRS AGAINST FARMERS MAY GO, KHATTAR HINTS PAGES 6, 7 with my parents over the phone but not on video call -- it’s not easy… I end up crying when they beg me to come back,” said Sukhmani, whose father is a property dealer and mother a teacher. A tattoo on her hand says ‘I’ll always love you mom and dad’. “I was doing the paath today morning when a farmer came and said that the prime minister will repeal the laws. I’m both happy and a little sad -- I like doing sewa,” she said. “Fateh ho gayi, par ye aadhi jeet hai.” SANTOKH SINGH, 72, farmer A resident of Tarn Taran, Punjab, he left for Delhi from his village of Gharga Dara on CONTINUEDONPAGE2 STEP BACK & FORWARD It must know in democracy, winning majority isn’t enough & PRATAP BHANU MEHTA THE IDEAS PAGE DUSHYANT DAVE ASHOK K GULATI PAGES 10, 11 EXPLAINED REASONS FOR REPEAL PAGE 9 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In burying farm laws, Govt may have held off demand for right to MSP HARISH DAMODARAN Accountant to farmer to event manager: The women and men who spent a year at Singhu JIGNASA SINHA & PAVNEET SINGH CHADHA ment did not factor in – both in the first and second term – was thatthe proposedlaws hadto do with land. In the economy, it is just one of the three factors of production (along with labour and capital), but when it comes toemotion,isinextricablylinked with individual identity. Given that the BJP had an absolute majority – bigger in the second tenure than the first – it could have used its political capital to build a consensus, listen to the views of key stakeholders, and follow normative legislative procedures in a spirit of give and take. But both came in fast and sudden as ordinances; were legislated without THE EDITORIAL PAGE COMING A few months before the Assembly elections early next year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement repealing the three farm laws has delivered a resounding victory to one of the longest farm agitations in independent India, even as it has robbed Punjab’s political parties of their main poll plank. “Kisaanon ne Modi ko jhuka diya,thisisthefirsttimethatthis government has rolled back a law,” said a euphoric Jagmohan Singh Dakaunda, president of BKU (Dakaunda), the second largest union of the state, and member of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM). Dr Darshan Pal, a spokesperson for the SKM, said Modi’s announcementreflected apolitical compulsion forced by the big gains made by the agitation in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. “A strong, united and inclusive agitation forced Modi to give in. Modi ji ko kisaanon ke aage ghutne tekne pade,” Pal said. JoginderSinghUgrahanofthe BKU(Ugrahan),thelargestunion, was, however, more restrained. “Who are we to humiliate a government?Ithaslongarms.People wanted these dangerous laws to beremoved,andthegovernment has agreed. Now we will work to ensure minimum support prices (MSP) for all crops and justice for the Lakhimpur Kheri victims,” Ugrahan said. CPM Politburo member Hannan Mollah, the only farm leader from West Bengal in the SKM, told The Indian Express: “THE FARM laws are dead, long live the farm laws!” Thisparaphrasedrestatement of anoldFrenchadagerelatingto monarchy succession could well haveappliedtothethreeagriculture reform laws, until their rollback was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday morning. The farm laws were for all practicalpurposesdeadfromthe time the Supreme Court on January 12 stayed their implementation“untilfurtherorders”. The apex court never heard the matteragainevenafteranexpert committee, which it had ap- pointed to make recommendations after hearing the grievancesof farmersandthegovernment’s views on the laws, submitted its report in a sealed cover on March 19. The Modi government made no attempts to vacate the court’s stay. On the contrary, the laws being technically on hold provided a convenient alibi for violating them itself. Asfoodinflation,particularly in pulses and edible oils, began climbing on the back of soaring global prices, the government sprung into action by imposing stockholding limits on these items from July onwards. This was just over nine months after the“historic”farmlawswereenactedandgazettedinSeptember 2020.Theselaws—especiallythe one that amended the Essential Commodities Act to do away with stocking restrictions on the farm trade except under conditions of war, famine, natural calamitiesof gravenatureor“extraordinary price rise” — were nowdeadinspirit,if notinletter. Only the ghost in the shell remained. Modi’s announcement that “we have decided to withdraw all three agriculture laws” and to “complete the constitutional process to repeal these” in the upcoming Winter Session of Parliament, effectively amounts to burying and interring what wasalreadydead.Asfarmleader YogendraYadavputit:“Wewere CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Arrested in Ahmednagar hospital fire case, resident doctor, 3 nurses get bail EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE PUNE, MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 19 A COURT in Ahmednagar on Friday granted bail to a resident doctor and three nurses who were arrested last week on charges of culpable homicide and negligence in connection with the district hospital ICU fire that led to the death of 12 Covid patients on November 6. AhmednagardistrictjudgeM RNatugrantedbailtoDrVishaka Shinde along with nurses Sapna Pathare, Asma Shaikh and Channa Anant on a surety and personalbondof Rs25,000each, their lawyer Yohan Makasare said. “Astheordercameafter5pm in the evening, they will be released on Saturday morning,” Makasare said, adding the bail hasbeengrantedoncertainconditions “like they would cooperate with the investigation and wouldn’t tamper with the prosecution witnesses.” “The three nurses and the doctor have been granted bail,” confirmed Superintendent of Police Manoj Patil. The family members of the women along with members of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and a nurses' association maintainedthattheyweremade scapegoatintheincident,adding they would now push for the charges against them to get revoked. Rajendra Popat Shinde, father of Dr Shinde, 27, told The Indian Express, “I just want to get my daughter home. She is already extremely scared and nervous. We need to make her stand on her feet again as the battle isn’t over yet...the road ahead will be more challenging. “We will celebrate when my daughter will be clear of the charges,” Rajendra, who travelled 55km along with his wife and elder daughter, who is also a doctor, to reach the court, said. Dr Sachin Vahadane, secretary, IMA-Ahmednagar, said, “We will meet Dr Shinde’s familyandthenurses'associationtomorrow (Saturday). We are already in talks with the state government to revoke the charges.” Dr Ravi Wankhedkar, IMA's former national president, said the “young resident doctor's entire career is in jeopardy due to the police case and arrest.” He said the State health minister and department officials apart from PWD officials should CONTINUEDONPAGE2
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