Farmers to ride tractors to march on Republic Day to protest farm laws

During a press conference on January 2, farmers leaders announced a plan to march into Delhi following the Republic Day parade if farmers’ demands are not met

A ‘farmers’ republic parade’ with tractors, trolleys and other vehicles will march towards Delhi on January 26, 2021 soon after the official Republic Day parade, said a seven-member Coordination Committee of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on January 2.

The march was announced as an ultimatum by farmers to the Union government by farmer leaders Balbir Singh Rajewal, Darshan Pal, Gurnam Singh Chadhuni, Ashok Dhawale – in place for Hannan Mollah – Jagjit Singh Dallewal, Abhimanyu Kohad – in place for Shiv Kumar Sharma Kakka – and Yogendra Yadav.

“We intend to be peaceful and told the Government of India during our talks that it has only two options – either repeal the three central farm Acts or use force to evict us. The time has come for decisive action and we have chosen January 26 both because Republic Day represents the supremacy of people and because [by then] we would have demonstrated at Delhi’s borders for two full months in extreme weather conditions”, they said during a press conference.

The SKM confirmed their plan of action leading up to Republic Day as well. Farmers across India will observe rallies, conferences and dharnas under the Desi Jagriti Abhiyan from January 6 to January 20 to counter the government’s propaganda.

Farmers have also announced Lohri/Sankarnati as Kisan Sankalp Diwas wherein people will burn copies of the three laws – the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance & Farm Services Act, the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

Similarly, January 18 will be celebrated as Mahila Kisan Diwas to underline the role of women farmers. January 23 will celebrate Azad Hind Kisan Diwas on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary by protesting outside Governors’ official residence in all state capitals.

Depending on the conclusion of January 4 talks, farmers will march on KMP Expressway on January 6 and subsequently the Shahjahanpur blockade will also move towards Delhi.

Meanwhile, leaders pointed out that the two minor farmers’ demands granted by the central government are yet to be secured in writing or any legal form. The major demands also remain unresolved. Previously, the government asked the farmers’ organisations to come up with ‘alternative proposals.’ However, leaders stated that there is no alternative other than repeal. Accordingly, the government refused to agree, even in principle, to the demand for legal right to purchase at MSP.

“We have no alternative and if the government does not meet our demand by January 26, we will be left with no option other than to start marching peacefully into Delhi”, said farmer leaders.


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