Forward of Bharat bandh, PM Modi says reforms should, outdated legal guidelines a burden

Tribune News Service & PTI

New Delhi/Lucknow, December 7

Amid the row over new farm laws, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said reforms were needed for development and some laws from the past century had become a burden.

Launching the Agra metro rail project through video conference, Modi said the reforms carried out by his government were also getting reflected in election results. His pitch on the importance of reforms comes ahead of Tuesday’s Bharat bandh over the three new farm laws. But during his brief address, the Prime Minister made no direct reference to the new laws or the farmers’ protests.

“Reforms are needed for development. Reforms are very much needed for a new order and to give new facilities. We cannot build the next century with the laws of the previous century,” he said. “Some laws that used to be good in the past century have become a burden in the present century. Reforms should be a continuous process,” he said.

Meanwhile, the BJP today slammed opposition leaders for “jumping on” the agitation bandwagon to save their “political astitva (existence)”. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accused them of “duplicity and shameless double standards” over reforms in the farming sector which they had themselves advocated while in power.

Farmer leaders said political parties were responding to their “genuine demands”. “It doesn’t mean farmers are affiliated to them, it is part of democracy, why is everyone so surprised,” said Kavitha Kuruganti of Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch, one of the 40 unions invited for talks with the Centre. As farmer unions appealed for peace tomorrow, the Centre asked the states to tighten the security and ensure that the Covid-19 guidelines were followed.

Patar to return Padma Shri

Chandigarh: Noted Punjabi poet Surjit Patar announced on Monday that he would return his Padma Shri award in support of farmers who are protesting against the Centre’s farm laws. Patar was bestowed with the Padma Shri in 2012. Earlier, protesting over the issue of intolerance in the country in 2015, he had returned the Sahitya Akademi award. The poet said,”The insensitivity shown towards the peaceful struggle of farmers by the Central Government has pained me.” TNS

Bandh from 11 am to 3 pm, announces BKU

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) has said the Bharat bandh on December 8 will start at 11 am and end at 3 pm. During the bandh, essential services would not be curtailed and office-goers could move freely, said BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait.

MSP will remain, minister reiterates

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Monday the government was with the farmers, the MSP regime would stay and their land would not be sold or mortgaged/leased. “There will be no collateral on farmers’ land,” the minister clarified.

13 companies of central forces in Haryana

Haryana DGP Manoj Yadav said district officers would ensure essential services were uninterrupted. He said 13 companies of central forces, including nine of the RAF, would be deployed.

Traffic disruption expected: Delhi-Ambala (NH-44), Delhi-Hisar (NH-9), Delhi-Palwal (NH-19) and Delhi to Rewari (NH-48).

With protesting farmers, says Digvijay chautala

Senior JJP leader Digvijay Chautala on Monday made it clear that all 10 JJP MLAs stood in solidarity with the farmers.

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