New Delhi: Prime time Tuesday night focused on the Bharat Bandh called by protesting farmers against the three new farm laws. NDTV 24×7’s Vishnu Som wondered when the farmer deadlock would come to an end, Times Now’s Navika Kumar attacked the Opposition for “hijacking” the Bandh while Republic’s Arnab Goswami claimed that the common people had ‘rejected’ it.
Goswami explained, “An attempt was made to shut down the nation… Even as the Vadra-Congress was cheering on the Bharat Band, the common people of India completely rejected the Bandh.” “India was thriving today! Thriving!” he exclaimed in excited tones.
Meanwhile, Navika Kumar attacked her favourite target — the Opposition. “The desperation of this Opposition is clearly getting evident… Losing grip over all reality, the Opposition netas have lost their connect to the farmers,” she claimed.
“Their petty politics and compulsive disruption of protests have driven the kisaan away from the opportunistic politicians,” Kumar added.
On NDTV 24×7, anchor Vishnu Som gave a run down of the meeting between Home Minister Amit Shah and farmer leaders Tuesday.
“There are some indicators that the government may be willing to go some distance by making amendments to the law to protect Minimum Support Prices (MSP),” he said. “Will the farmer deadlock come to an end?” Som asked fellow anchor Sanket Upadhyay.
Upadhyay replied, “It’s difficult to guess what really is on the mind of these farm leaders. As far as the government is concerned, we’ve learnt that in this meeting Amit Shah is going to propose that the Centre is largely in agreement with three main demands of the farmers.”
The government is willing to give into these three demands — guarantee the protection of Minimum Support Price, bring parity as far as APMC (Agricultural Market Produce Committee) and private mandis are concerned and that farmers can approach civil courts to fight battles legally.
However, Upadhyay noted that farmers have been demanding a complete ‘repeal’ of the laws.
On Hindi news channels, the government’s version was on display. Several Union ministers gave ‘exclusive’ interviews to these channels.
On ABP News, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, in an interview to anchor Rubika Liyaquat, listed instances where opposition parties had called for a repeal of the APMC Act including Congress’ Lok Sabha election manifesto.
“Here we are giving opportunities to the farmers and you are coming on the streets, what is this? Just opposing to oppose? We have won all elections, so are they just fighting for their existence? That is horrible,” he said.
Responding to a question about the BJP government’s “roadmap” for discussions, Prasad said, “We are keeping our minds open, if the farmers have any issues we will discuss them, we will assure them and resolve them. But we worry that talks begin with MSP then they call for the repeal of the three agricultural laws. Are there any forces behind this?”
On Aaj Tak, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar took a covert swipe at the Congress government in Punjab.
“The doubts are only in the minds of one farmer of one state. And these doubts are being fueled by the politics in that state,” he said.
He added: “MSP will not go, MSP was there, is there and will be there. There was no guarantee in the past 55 years. It will remain so.”