The farmer unions, protesting against the new agri laws, on Monday announced that they will march towards Parliament from different locations on February 1 when annual Union budget is scheduled to be presented. The unions said they are not ready to settle with anything less than the repeal of the contentious legislations.
The new announcement came even as the agitators are all set to take out the tractor parade in the national capital on the Republic Day.
The unions said Tuesday’s tractor rally will give the government an idea of their strength. “They (government) will know the agitation is not just limited to Haryana or Punjab but it is an agitation of whole of the country,” Krantikari Kisan Union leader Darshan Pal 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 said, told sources.
The unions have claimed that around two lakh tractors will be there in the parade which will move into the city from three border points—Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur (UP Gate).
Several rural women in Haryana’s Jind district have reportedly been receiving training for the past one month to drive tractors to be able to participate in the tractor rally.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab and Haryana have been camping at Delhi’s borders for several weeks, demanding the repeal of the farm laws and a legal guarantee on the minimum support price for crops.
Enacted in September last year, the three 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.