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Farmers urge Bengal voters to defeat BJP: Key developments | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The farmers protesting against the three central farm laws on Friday appealed to the agriculturists of West Bengal, which goes to polls in eight phases later this month, to defeat the BJP. They said a defeat would force the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre to repeal the agri-marketing laws.
Here are the key developments of the day:
1. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of over 40 farmers’ unions, urged agriculturists and other people of West Bengal not to vote for the BJP in the upcoming elections. The SKM said that electoral defeat will force the BJP-led government at the Centre to repeal the three farm laws. “We are not supporting any party or telling people whom to vote for but our only appeal is that the BJP should be taught a lesson,” SKM leader Yogendra Yadav told reporters. The SKM also issued a letter urging the farmers of the state not to vote for the saffron party. Social activist Medha Patkar, while accusing the BJP of trying to “sell the country” to a few corporates, also urged people to exercise their franchise cautiously. Condemning the Centre for “insulting” the farmers’ stir, Patkar said even the British occupiers had not resorted to acts which the present government is indulged in. She welcomed the passage of a resolution against the farm laws in the West Bengal assembly.
2. In a relief to passengers, the Western Railway resumed scheduled services of special trains, which were affected due to the farmers’ agitation in Punjab, an official said. The Western Railway, in a release, notified that all trains will now run on their scheduled routes and timings, as the affected railway tracks at Jandiala in Punjab were declared fit for train movement on Thursday. Due to the farmer’s agitation in Punjab, the movement of trains was affected at Jandiala station since several days and a few special trains of the Western Railway were either cancelled, diverted, short terminated or short originated, the release said. The zonal railway also appealed to passengers to take note of this restoration of trains and plan their journey accordingly.
3. Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot hoped that Mahatma Gandhi’s message would “shake the conscience” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he would take a decision over the three farm laws. Gehlot flagged off a march here on the 91st anniversary of Dandi March taken out by Gandhi. The prime minister flagged off a padyatra (foot march) from Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat to re-enact Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi Yatra. “Narendra Modi is himself flagging off Dandi March from the Sabarmati Ashram to commemorate this day. I hope that Gandhiji’s message would shake his conscience and he may take any decision (on farm laws) by this evening. I will be very happy and people of the country will be happy,” Gehlot told reporters here. He said it is “unfortunate” that the central government is maintaining a “stubborn attitude” towards the farmers who played a role in the freedom struggle. “I say again and again that governments should never be stubborn, governments should always bow down before the public, in front of the ‘Janata Janardan’, in front of the voters,” Gehlot said.
4. Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Jayant Chaudhary has slammed the BJP-led central government over its stand on the farmers’ protest at Delhi borders, saying the dispensation is unable to see the problems of farmers. Chaudhary was speaking at a Kisan panchayat in Bhojpur town, according to a communique by the party. Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, he said, “Instead of uniting the society, they talk about 2013 communal riots whenever they visit western UP.” “They can’t see the problems of farmers. The government is inhuman,” Chaudhary alleged. The RLD vice president accused the BJP of trying to divide the society. “The BJP wants to divide the society but now the farmers of every caste and community are aware about its intentions. No one can fool them,” he added.
5. Haryana farmers blocked traffic in Jind and Hisar while some of them protested outside a ruling party MLA’s residence, a day after a no-confidence motion focussed on the farmers’ issue was defeated in the state assembly. A group of farmers held a protest in Sirsa and Jind to protest against those Haryana legislators who had not backed the no-confidence motion. The protesting farmers also blocked Hisar-Jind road for some time and raised slogans against the state government. A large number of farmers held a protest outside the Prem Nagar residence of ruling BJP’s Ambala City MLA Aseem Goel objecting to a remark made by him in the state assembly. The protesters claimed Goel had made some indirect remark in the context of farmers. On Wednesday, Congress members had rushed to the Well of the House taking objection to the remark made by Goel while he was speaking on the no-confidence motion moved against the BJP-JJP government by the main opposition party. The protesting farmers also said they will not allow BJP and JJP MLAs to enter their villages to address any public meeting because they were not putting pressure on the Centre to repeal the three farm laws.
6. A Delhi court extended by three days the interim protection from arrest granted to climate activist Shubham Kar Chaudhari, a co-accused along with Disha Ravi and others in connection with allegedly being involved in sharing a “toolkit” on social media related to the farmers’ protest. Additional session judge Dharmender Rana granted the relief after police sought an adjournment in the proceedings related to an anticipatory bail moved by Chaudhari in the matter. He was recently granted transit bail by the Goa bench of the Bombay high court. During the brief hearing, the police urged the court to adjourn the matter till March 15, when the anticipatory bail applications filed by co-accused Disha Ravi and Shantanu Mukul are scheduled for hearing. No coercive action be taken against the accused till the next date of hearing, the court directed, after the accused informed the judge that the protection garnered by the high court was scheduled to end on Friday.
(With inputs from agencies)

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