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‘I should not have spoken’: Arvind Kejriwal apologises for farmer’s death at AAP rally

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Making a departure from the usual attitude of politicians in the country, Arvind Kejriwal today apologised for not stopping his speech at an event where farmer Gajendra Singh Rajput  killed himself.

Kejriwal also regretted his decision to make a speech after the gruesome incident took place.

In an interview to news agency ANI, the Delhi Chief Minister said, “I think I was wrong, I should not have spoken. I didn’t think of it at that time. I apologise if I hurt anyone.”

While the man tied a noose out of a white scarf and plunged off a branch, Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders were seen taking the stage. Neither the Police nor the AAP volunteers were seen trying to stop the man from hanging himself.

Kejriwal later said that no one had expected the farmer to take such a drastic step.

The Delhi Police, however, filed an FIR against the Aam Aadmi Party stating that party workers didn’t cooperate in saving the man and even clapped and cheered, which instigated the farmer.

Defending the party, Kejriwal said, “No AAP leader made any announcement from the stage because that would have led to chaos.” At the same time, Kejriwal made a speech in which he blamed the Delhi police for acting like mute spectators.

Kejriwal also admonished the ‘hoopla’ created over the incident, saying that the media and the politicians should focus on the main issue of farmer suicides.

Meanwhile, the BJP dismissed the apology saying, “He should reflect on that day. We don’t accept the apology. He is trying to justify himself.”

The family of the 42 year-old farmer, Gajendra Singh also rejected the Chief Minister’s apology saying it was “too little, too late”.

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Delhi Govt Issues Advisory for Spraying Pesticides to Deal With Locust Attack

Delhi government will also run awareness programmes regarding the same threat

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The threat of locusts is increasing in North India. Pixabay

To deal with the attack of locusts in the national capital, the Delhi government has issued an advisory for spraying pesticides, Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai said on Thursday.

Rai said in view of the increasing threat of locusts in north India, the Agriculture Department of the Delhi government will run awareness programmes to make the people and farmers of Delhi aware of this new threat.

“Also, the Delhi Government has issued advisory on spraying pesticides and its quantity,” Rai tweeted.

The circular was issued in order to prevent a probable attack in Delhi by a swarm of locusts, which are reportedly present in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

“All concerned authorities are hereby advised to take preventive measures to control and eradicate the locusts to avoid devastating effect on standing agricultural and horticultural crops, vegetation, plants, gardens, orchard etc. in Delhi,” the circular said.

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“Also, the Delhi Government has issued advisory on spraying pesticides and its quantity,” Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai tweeted. Wikimedia Commons

It directed that awareness programmes be organised for the public and farmers to prevent and control any such invasion by locusts in Delhi.

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“As the swarm usually fly in day time, and rest during night time therefore the locusts should not be allowed to rest especially during night,” it said.

The circular added that the authorities may carry out spraying of insecticides or pesticides during the night.

The chemicals suggested for spraying were Malathion 50% EC; Malathion 25% WP; Chlorpyrifos 20 % EC; and Chlorpyrifos 50 % EC. (IANS)

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New Reforms and Alternative Markets Likely To Benefit Farmers

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New reforms will benefit farmers who are reeling under the Covid-19 crisis. Pixabay

The Modi government in order to double the income of farmers by 2022 announced a slew of measures last week, and it is widely expected that these reforms will benefit farmers who are reeling under the Covid-19 crisis. Post Coronavirus as state reopens farmers might benefit.

IANS spoke to Ashok Dalwai, chairman of the Committee for Doubling Farmers’ Income, on the issue of strategic reforms initiated by the government and their importance to the farm sector.

He said the alternative market provided to the farmers will give them more earning power. The reforms will unshackle the agriculture value chains by deregulating the essential commodity trade and introducing a Central law to ease inter-state farm trade, effectively overriding the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis that have shown resistance to change in the past.

“We are not ending the APMC, but reforming it. Till now APMC was regulated by the state governments, now the private sector can establish its own APMC which will give an alternative market to farmers,” Dalwai said.

He said the way the telecom sector provided options to the consumers to choose the operators of their choice, in the same way the private AMPC will give farmers the choice to sell their produce at a better price anywhere in India. “The proposed amendment to the Essential Commodities Act of 1955 will ensure seamless movement of farm produce not only inter-state, but also within the state. Anyone having a central license can buy and sell anywhere,” Dalwai said.

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Ashok Dalwai says Alternative markets might help corona struck farmers. Pixabay

Dalwai said many states have already adopted the reforms and more will join in the future. “The new law related to APMC will be definitely adopted by the state governments and the Centre will provide the framework for inter-state trade of agricultural produce. If a farmer in UP wants to sell his produce to a market in Karnataka, he does not need to go there. He can do so online. The way e-NAM works for APMC mandis, e-platform will work for such farmers.”

He said the amendment to the Essential Commodities Act has been initiated with the sole purpose to provide better prices to the farmers. The government has also decided to free certain categories of agricultural products such as cereals, pulses, oilseeds, onions, and potatoes from the government’s control and lend more predictability to even export policies.

Also Read: Responsible Human Behaviour has Helped Animals: WWF

On the question of challenges due to Covid-19 with regard to doubling farmers’ income, Dalwai said, “The farmers have not been impacted due to the pandemic. There will be no problem in achieving the target of doubling farmers’ income by the year 2022.” (IANS)

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Rs 4,000 Crore Plan for Herbal Cultivation Includes Ganga River Banks, Informs Finance Minister

NMPB will identify 800 hectare of land near the river for the same

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on atomic energy research reactor
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government will provide level playing field for private companies in satellite launches and space-based services. Wikimedia Commons

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday informed that a corridor of medicinal plants would be created on the banks of the Ganga and for this National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) would identify 800 hectare of land near the river.

It forms an important part of a slew of initiatives announced by the minister towards development of agricultural infrastructure, capacity building, logistics and legislative reforms.

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s decision to create a corridor of medicinal plants on the banks of the Ganga is part of the Rs 4,000 crore programme launched for the promotion of herbal cultivation. Wikimedia Commons

Read More: No Trace of Community Transmission in Karnataka: Medical Education Minister

The NMPB has supported 2.25 lakh hectare area under cultivation of medicinal plants. Now, 10,00,000 hectares will be covered under herbal cultivation in next two years with the outlay of Rs 4,000 crore.

The move is expected to lead to Rs 5,000 crore income generation for farmers. It will also develop a network of regional Mandis for medicinal plants. (IANS)