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Haryana news

Dushyant Chautala stood up for farmer’s cause; opposition failed

The Indian farmer constitutes 40 per cent of the country and an even higher percentage of its poor and as the available data points out, is under immense stress.

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Dushyant Chautala

By Prateek Som 

The Indian farmer constitutes 40 per cent of the country and an even higher percentage of its poor and as the available data points out, is under immense stress. The modernization of the central farm laws is nothing but an adaptation of provisions which already exist in many states, including Punjab and Haryana. How come the three acts become anti-farmer in some states and why not in many others is something the activists themselves cannot explain.

Big states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan are not even a part of the farmers’ agitation and there is no protest against the central or state government in these states, despite the fact that BJP is not in power in some of these states. More importantly, some agriculturists and several economists have been campaigning for abolishing MSP based procurement as it is unfairly tilted towards a few states like Punjab.

The Central government has neither abolished the MSP nor does it say anything against it in the laws. If, despite this, the impression is being spread that MSP is to be abolished, this is clearly mischievous. The activists are not only spreading the misinformation about the MSP abolition but they are asking for an unreasonable clause in the law for unlimited MSP based procurement which was never a part of the previous laws related to agriculture and APMC acts.

The Indian farm bills are in line with international precedence wherein a number of developing economies have been making changes to their agriculture policies since the 1990s to encourage private sector involvement which would provide a major fillip to the sector. The International Monetary Fund has also backed the recent farm acts as being an important step in the right direction. Despite all the supportive arguments in the favour of the laws, India has seen unprecedented protest in and around the capital as a result of political vendetta.

Politics of Yogendra Yadav and Gurnam Chaduni and its irrelevance to the farmer’s cause

Raising the farmer’s issues should be an act done collectively but the state farmer activists are trying to establish a monopoly in the leadership. They are not even active in all the parts of the state, but targeting only those districts with paddy belt of cropping pattern. Most of them are politically motivated.

In an interview given to NDTV, Yogendra Yadav came out as an aspiring candidate for Haryana CM post and he was advertised as the most fit politician for the position. He formulated his own party, ‘Swaraj’, after being expelled from AAP and lost badly in polls. It is a proof that he lacks mass support. A report by Divya Bhaskar states that farmer leader Gurnam Chaduni was accused of teaming up with political parties like Congress, AAP, SAD and some independent leaders and getting into a deal worth Rs 10 crore to topple the Khattar government in Haryana in return of Congress ticket for elections. There are allegations that Chaduni is collecting funds out of the collection drive for protests and hiding the funds from other leaders. He was also blamed for instigating farmers to disrupt the January 26 celebrations at the Red Fort. Haryana CM Khattar held Chaduni responsible for instigating the farmers that led to clashes between farmers and police at Karnal just before the Kisan Mahapanchayat programme. As a result of his politically motivated efforts, Chaduni was suspended by Samyukt Kisan Morcha from meeting politicians across country. In the 2019 assembly elections, Chaduni contested from Ladwa as an Independent candidate, but suffered a heavy defeat, garnering only 1,307 votes and losing his deposit.

Yogendra Yadav and Gurnam Chaduni are mere examples of how election failures like themselves are trying to garner the support of the commoners for their own political resurrection. The claim of being a leader of the farmers is in contravention with the inconsiderable support both Yadav and Chaduni got in the polls. The Shiromani Akali Dal that left the NDA government in the pursuance of state elections and under the disguise of farmer’s demands has made zero impact on the political ground of Punjab. Their biases can not only be seen from their actions but their cause and concern for two states out of 28. The threat posed by leaders like these to the democratic process of passing of a bill can be seen through the factual analysis of what the laws actually say versus the intentional misconceptions spread by such leaders.

Since an unlimited MSP based procurement is not in the law even today, it is not clear how this is even an issue. More importantly, putting this in the law means India will get tied to distortions that MSP based prices cause in perpetuity. The government has made it clear that procurement at MSP will continue and also that the mandis will not stop functioning. Farmers will have the option to sell their produce at other places in addition to the mandis. It is worth noting that only 6% of farmers actually sell their crops at MSP rates, according to the 2015 Shanta Kumar Committee’s report using National Sample Survey data. There are fears that contract farming will lead to land loss of the small and marginal farmers to big corporates. However, adequate protection of land ownership is in place to protect farmer interests. The act explicitly prohibits any sponsor firm from acquiring the land of farmers – whether through purchase, lease or mortgage. The point to note is that contract cultivation is voluntary in nature and farmers cannot be forced into an agreement.

How Dushyant Chautala is taking initiatives for farmers

Dushyant Chautala is the only state leader who has met Central leaders regarding the farmer demands – Prime Minister, Home Minister, Agriculture Minister along with other cabinet ministers Nitin Gadkari and Piyush Goyal. No other leader in India has met them specifically for farmers’ demands. That shows the concern and responsibility on the part of the JJP leader who is a leader of the masses.

In April 2020, Deputy CM Chautala addressed that the state government will procure the crops of the farmers in a better way while saving the state from the corona epidemic. As a result of this, even in the pandemic situation, mandis have been increased to 162 from 67 for the purchase of mustard at MSP. Haryana is the only state across the country which has started procurement of mustard crop in this pandemic. In November 2020, Dushyant assured the farmers that government will buy every grain of the crop. He made procurements for non-MSP crops to get the rate of MSP crops. He also announced formation of women Self-Help Groups in all villages on the lines of successful initiative in Hisar, to increase employment opportunities for women and showcase their talent at international level.

In February 2021, Dushyant made the announcement to buy 6 crops including wheat, mustard, pulses, sunflower, gram at MSP, barley is included for the first time. Haryana is the first state to offer MSP for barley. Every farmer is to be registered on the ‘Meri Fasal Mera Byora’ portal at MSP and payment amount will arrive in the farmer’s account within 48 hours. Along with recent announcements, the schemes like Mukhyamantri Parivar Samman Nidhi Scheme, Haryana Agricultural Machinary Grant Scheme, Pragatishil Kisan Samman Yojana, Pragatishil Kisan Trainer and Kisan Mitra Scheme to promote the inclusive growth of farmers in Haryana.

The main agenda of ongoing agitations

Amidst all the chaos, the agitations by activists like Yogendra Yadav and Gurnam Chaduni are for targeting Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala. It is a matter of record that many times they carried protests outside his residence and their intention and cause are suspicious to the core as they did not target any other leader in power like this.  

The agitations in Haryana are mainly against the JJP and specifically targeted towards the leadership of Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala. The attempts of the farmer leaders to make Dushyant Chautala resign from the government are nothing but petty politics to destabilize the state government. If the threat to farmers is real, why the cause of the farmers is not taken up by the farmers from masses than some farmers from selected areas and that too under the leadership of politically motivated specific leaders only who have ties with the parties who are eyeing the upcoming elections?

Read Also: Due to gradual increase in availability of vaccines, all adults can be vaccinated by December-end: NK Arora

The high-pitched farmer agitation is not just based on incorrect perceptions of what the new farm laws will result in – the abolition of APMC mandis and MSP-based procurement – they are also not about protecting the farmer in the long run. The agitation is purely an attempt to corner the stable functioning state government, to boost the sagging political fortunes of the activist leaders by deliberately misleading farmers, to run a personal vendetta against a young and dynamic leadership of Dushyant Chautala who is making efforts for the farmers and to give chance to Congress to come in power. That is why, before the activists decided to fuel the agitation, they focused on batting for spreading misinformation, have nothing to say about non-MSP crops/livestock in the state and have no future agenda for the inclusive growth and development of farmers. And to make the matters worse, they are trying to provoke the masses against the people in power for their vested political interests.  

The author is an Advocate in Supreme Court of India and National Spokesperson of Jannayak Janta Party

Haryana news

Ram Rahim gets Z-Plus security from Haryana Government

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that the decision has nothing to do with the Punjab Assembly Elections and it is just a coincidence.

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Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh

The Haryana government on Tuesday has provided Z-plus security to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh following reports of death threats from pro-Khalistan activists.

As per a report in India Today, the decision has been taken after his request to furlough was approved in early February. It is to be noted that the Z-plus category security is provided by the National Security Guard commandos and the person who gets this level of security is provided with 10 security personnel for mobile security and two (plus eight) for residence security.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that the decision has nothing to do with the Punjab Assembly Elections and it is just a coincidence.

Earlier, Ram Rahim was provided with a 21 days furlough for the rape convict. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for raping two of his disciples at his ashram and the murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati. On August 15, 2017, he was found guilty in both cases and was sent to 10 years of jail in each case.

Read Also: Russia-Ukraine crisis: India sends flight for Ukraine to citizens

What is the Z-plus category?

In India, the security categories are X, Y, Y-Plus, Z and Z-Plus. The Z-Plus category is the highest one and is accorded to only the most important personalities in the country. Besides these categories, SPG (Special Protection Group) cover is provided only for the prime minister and his immediate family.

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Delhi news

Soon you can travel from Delhi to Hisar in just 2.5 hours with this superfast train, here’s all you need to know

Currently, the journey between Delhi and Hisar is completed within four hours. But after the new line is elevated, the distance of 180 km will be completed in just 2.5 hours.

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Soon you can travel from Delhi to Hisar in just 2.5 hours with this superfast train, here's all you need to know

There is good news for those who regularly travel between Delhi and Hisar (Haryana) via train. Considering the value of time, the Indian Railways has decided to run a super-fast train between these two cities.

Preparations for the new train are going on. The Ministry of Railways also said that it will install the requisite elevated railway line along the route. According to Haryana Urban Local Bodies Minister Dr Kamal Gupta, the government is planning the construction of a new superfast train route between Delhi and Hisar. The plan will improve the connection between the Delhi and Hisar airports.

Currently, the journey between Delhi and Hisar is completed within four hours. But after the new line is elevated, the distance of 180 km will be completed in just 2.5 hours.

The major motivation for establishing a new rail route is that if the Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport experiences more air traffic, part of it might be redirected to Hisar Airport. Hisar airport can thereafter be developed as an aviation hub.

According to Kamal Gupta, Chief Minister Manohar Lal has discussed the plans with Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav, and it is expected that 10 new railway stations and a road would be created beneath Rohtak’s elevated railway line. The land acquisition procedure in the Prithla and Palwal areas will start soon. The economic corridor will be linked via a connection.

The state administration is taking significant initiatives to strengthen the state’s railway and transportation infrastructure, Kamal Gupta said.

In other news, the rank of Indian passport has increased by 7. Now, Indian passport holders can travel to 60 countries without a prior visa. Read the news here.

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Haryana news

Haryana imposes fresh restrictions in 6 more districts amid surge in Covid-19 cases

According to an order issued by Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal, the theatres, cinema halls, multiplexes and entertainment parks will be remain shut in these 11 districts of Haryana.

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Covid-19 cases in India

In order to control the rising Covid-19 cases, the Haryana government has imposed new restrictions on six more districts which are Karnal, Panipat, Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar, Rohtak, and Jhajjar. These cities are now a part of Group A or high-risk districts. Earlier, the curbs were enforced on only five districts- Gurugram, Faridabad, Ambala, Sonipat, Panchkula.

According to an order issued by Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal, the theatres, cinema halls, multiplexes and entertainment parks will be remain shut in these 11 districts. Sports complexes, stadia, and swimming pools will also be closed, except for the training of sportspersons for participation in national or international sports, or for organising such sporting events. Spectators, however, will not be permitted. Business exhibitions are also restricted.

Except for those dealing with emergency and essential services, government and private offices have been instructed to operate with half of their employees. Malls and markets have been given permission to stay open till 6 p.m. Essential-items stores, on the other hand, will remain open all day. Bars and restaurants are permitted to operate at 50% of their capacity.

According to the order issued by the Haryana State Disaster Management Authority, only fully vaccinated people are permitted to enter sabzi mandis, grain markets, public transportation (bus stops and railway stations), parks, religious places, bars, restaurants, hotels, departmental stores, ration shops, liquor and wine shops, malls, shopping complexes, cinema halls, hats, local markets, petrol and CNG stations, LPG gas cylinder collection centers, sugar mills, milk booths, yoga shalas, gyms, fitness centres, and all government and private sector banks. Owners and management of these institutions will be responsible for guaranteeing this.

Throughout the state, schools, colleges, polytechnics, ITIs, coaching institutions, libraries and training institutes (both public and private), anganwadi centres, and creches would be closed.

Read Also: Covid-19 scare: Punjab reports 1,811 new Covid cases and 4 deaths

Gatherings of up to 50 people for funerals and 100 for weddings have been permitted in other districts. Cinema Halls, restaurants, bars, gyms, spas, and clubhouses have also been given the green light to stay open, but only at half capacity.

The night curfew continues in the state from 11 pm to 5 am.

On Wednesday, Haryana reported 2,176 new Covid-19 cases, including 35 of the Omicron form, bringing the state’s Covid-19 positive rate to 5.80 percent.

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