Protesting farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, are gearing up for the massive tractor rally on Republic Day in Delhi. Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several border points of Delhi since November 28 last year, demanding a repeal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee to the minimum support price (MSP) for their crops.
Farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal had earlier said, "Tractor march on January 26 will take place as decided by us on Outer Ring Road. We have informed the police it is for the government to ensure that it should be peaceful." Around 25,000 tractors from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand will participate in the 'kisan parade' in the national capital on January 26, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said on Saturday.
Amid the protests and preparations for the tractor rally, a farmer from Punjab reached Delhi on his tractor in reverse gear. The stunt was a symbolic one, appealing the Centre to 'reverse' the farm laws.
The tractor parade will start from the Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri border points of Delhi, but the final details of routes are yet to be finalised, said Kohar, who is a senior member of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of the agitating unions.
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 MSP and do away with the "mandi" (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.