BJP Manages to Get Farm Bills Passed in Parliament But Faces Allies' Ire, Farmers Plan Major Stir
In back-to-back high-profile press conferences, both the BJP and Congress blamed each other for tarnishing Parliament’s image as two contentious farm bills -- Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 -- were passed amid massive ruckus through voice vote. A number of protests were also staged during the day by farmers in several places, especially Punjab and Haryana, against the bills.
‘Watershed moment’: Hailing the passage of the agriculture reform bills as in Rajya Sabha a “watershed moment”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi again assured protesting farmers that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system won’t be touched and government purchase of their produce would continue.
In Other News
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In Talks: The sixth round of Corps Commander-level talks between India and China is set to be held on Monday in Moldo on the Chinese side of LAC with a sole focus on the implementation of a five-point agreement reached between the two countries on disengagement of troops and de-escalation of the volatile situation in eastern Ladakh, sources said.
Army occupied: The Indian army has occupied six new major hills on the LAC amid the standoff with China in the Eastern Ladakh sector. According to top sources, the army has occupied these six positions on Finger 4 ridgeline since August 29. “The new hill features being occupied by our troops include the Magar Hilll, Gurung Hill, Recehen La, Rezang La, Mokhpari and the dominating height over Chinese positions near Finger 4,” ANI reported.
New record: The meteorological department states that India has received the highest rainfall in August this year since 1976 -- 25 per cent more than the average, after recording 10 per cent less downpour than the average in July, thus setting a new record after 44 years. One of the world's wettest regions Cherrapunji in Meghalaya has an average annual precipitation of about 450 inches during monsoon season.
IPL 2020: A solid all-round effort from Marcus Stoinis coupled with sharp bowling from Kagiso Rabada in the Super Over helped Delhi Capitals beat Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 encounter at the Dubai International Stadium
On Our Specials
Ruckus in Parliament: While BJP ended up getting both the bills it had introduced in the upper house passed through voice vote, it has hardly emerged stronger from the entire process. Three regional heavyweights – its oldest ally, Punjab’s Akali Dal, and the ruling parties in Odisha and Telangana, the BJD and TRS – which the BJP usually banked on to get support for crucial bills, made their opposition to the farm bills loud and clear, Suhas Munshi writes.
Pushed deadlines: The Covid-19 pandemic is proving to be a good cover for the government’s narrative on a failed Air India selloff. While we are continuously assured of multiple bidders being in the fray for buying out this loss-maker, the government has been postponing the selloff date month after month. With the government asserting then that there were multiple interested bidders and that this bold decision to offload AI could have only been possible in the Narendra Modi regime, Sindhu Bhattacharya writes.