Farmer unions now announce plan to march towards Parliament on Budget day

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New Delhi, Jan 25 (PTI) Ahead of their proposed tractor parade on Republic Day, protesting farmer unions on Monday announced they will march towards Parliament from different locations on February 1 when the annual Union Budget is scheduled to be presented.

Darshan Pal of the Krantikari Kisan Union said the protesting farmers remain firm in their stand of repealing the three new farm laws and their agitation will continue till their demands are met.

'We will march towards Parliament on foot from different locations on the Budget day on February 1. As far as tomorrow's tractor rally is concerned, it will give the government an idea of our strength and they will know the agitation is not just limited to Haryana or Punjab but it is an agitation of the whole country,' he said.

Every march or protest will be peaceful as the movement has been so far, he said.

'The farmers who have come for the tractor parade will not go back now and will join the protest. The agitation will continue till our demands met. Our stand remains the same,' Pal told a press conference, sharing the farmers' plans to intensify the protest.

Thousands of armed personnel have been deployed at the Rajpath and several border points of the national capital which has been brought under a multi-layered security cover in view of Republic Day celebrations as well as the proposed tractor parade by farmers on Tuesday.

Protesting farmer unions opposing the three contentious farm laws said their parade will not enter central Delhi and it will start only after the official Republic Day parade concludes.

The unions claimed that around two lakh tractors are expected to participate in their parade which will move into the city from three border points --- Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur (UP Gate).

'It will be big event in the Indian democracy. We will celebrate Republic Day in its true sense tomorrow. The way the political leaders have played with the Constitution by constantly introducing amendments that kept violating human rights…we will continue to demand that they be rectified.

'It is the same Constitution in which they have introduced these three laws, which have created a problem not just for the farmers but also for the entire population of the country, against which this protest has been happening for two months now. The agitation will continue until the government repeals these laws,' Balbir Singh Rajewal of Bharatiya Kisan Union, another farmer leader said.

Jagmohan Singh, who is managing the arrangements for the Republic Day programme, said human rights violation continued to happen.

There will be volunteers from all farmer unions but there will be 3,000 centrally allotted, jacketed volunteers, half of whom will regulate traffic, and the other half will take care of the people.

'Besides, we have made several committees for different requirements, like the langar committee will take care of distribution the packed food, other committees will take care of the movement,' he said To maintain vigil, around 6,000 security personnel have been deployed by the Delhi police. Facial recognition system of Delhi Police has also been set up at vantage points for suspect identification.

A five-layer security cover comprising of border pickets, inner, middle and outer security has been deployed in and around the city to maintain law and order during the Republic Day ceremony and the proposed tractor parade Pal also added that the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha also aims to involve Indians across the world in their Republic Day.

'Wherever Indians are in any part of the world, we want all of them to observe the Republic Day with us,' he said.

Enacted in September last year, the three farm laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of minimum support price and do away with the 'mandi' (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates. PTI TRS GJS TRS TDS TDS