LIVE UPDATES: Farmers reject PM Modi’s assurance on agriculture reforms; to block Delhi-Jaipur highway with tractor rally today


Farmers have rejected Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurances that the government’s reforms in the agriculture sector would significantly boost their income in the days to come. Instead, the protesting farmers have vowed to intensify their current agitation, which entered its 18th day on Sunday. Thousands of farmers will take out a tractor rally on Sunday to block the Delhi-Jaipur highway. Today’s unprecedented agitation has followed the Bharat Bandh observed across India on 8 December.

Addressing an annual meeting of industry body FICCI, PM Modi had assured farmers about the benefits of the recently introduced Farm Laws. Without naming the protesting farmers, Modi said that ‘after the implementation of recent reforms, farmers will get new markets and new opportunities and they will get the help of technology.’

Speaking in Hindi, the prime minister said that one of the benefits of the recent reforms in the agriculture sector would be that the country’s cold storage infrastructure will become modern.’ “From all these, there will be a higher investment in the agriculture sector. The maximum benefit of these reforms would be to small and marginal farmers who earn their living on small plots of land,” Modi said.

The Modi government has held several rounds of talks with protesting farmers without much success. Protesting farmers will also stage a hunger strike between 8 AM to 5 PM on Monday. Meanwhile, thousands of police personnel have been deployed at the Delhi-Gurgaon border to ensure that farmers do not occupy the toll plazas there.

LIVE UPDATES on today’s big stories will appear below:

16:23 PM: Few people just cannot digest that farmer can have car, wear good clothes & have pizza, one of the organisers who distributed pizzas at Singhu border is quoted by PTI

12:23 PM: Delhi: Farmers’ protest at Singhu (Delhi-Haryana border) enters 18th day. A protester says, “I reached here last night. More farmers are coming from Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. 500 more trolleys will arrive here on 16th December.” (ANI)

11:52 AM: Mumbai Police arrest Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani in alleged TRP manipulation case. (ANI)

11:33 AM: The @myogiadityanath govt in UP has filed a petition in the #SupremeCourt challenging the #AllahabadHighCourt order that quashed the National Security Act against suspended #Gorakhpur doctor, Dr. #KafeelKhan, for an alleged speech against the #CitizenshipAmendmentAct. (IANS)

10:12 AM: BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya: Even if West Bengal govt opposes implementation of CAA, we (Centre) will go ahead in implementing it. If the state supports the implementation, it will be fine. (PTI)

09:18 AM: Delhi: Twin brothers from Punjab distribute warm clothes to protesters at Ghazipur as protest enters day 16 here. One of them Karanveer says,”Who likes to be on streets? It’s time for struggle. I’m fan of Modi ji,I’m sure he’ll understand country can’t progress without farmers.” (ANI)