As the rounds of talks between farmers and government fail, farmers are planning to take out a tractor parade towards Delhi on January 26, the republic day if their demands are not met.
Addressing a press conference, farmer leader Darshan Pal Singh said their proposed parade will be called “Kisan Parade” and it will be held after the Republic Day parade.
The press conference was addressed by Balbir Singh Rajewal, Darshanpal, Gurnam Singh Chadhuni, Ashok Dhawale (in place for Hannan Mollah), Jagjit Singh Dallewal, and shri Abhimanyu Kohad (in place for Shiv Kumar Sharma Kakkaji) and Yogendra Yadav.
“We intend to be peaceful and we told long ago to the Government of India during our talks that it has only two options – either repeal the 3 central farm acts or use force on us to evict us. The time has come for decisive action here, and we have chosen 26th January both because the Republic Day represents the supremacy of the people and also because we would have demonstrated patiently and peacefully at Delhi’s borders for two full months in extreme weather conditions by then our resolve to get our demands met”, said the farmer leaders.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be in the national capital on January 26. He will be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade which will be held at Rajpath.
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The next round of talks between the government and protesting farmer unions is scheduled to be held on January 4. On Friday, the unions had announced that they would have to take firm steps if the meeting fails to resolve the deadlock.
Meanwhile, protests are gathering in other parts of the country. Labour organisations have also joined hands with farmers and are organising joint agitations for their rights. Today in the Kaithal district of Haryana, farmers, and labourers gheraoed the office of Kaithal MLA who had earlier called farmers terrorist.
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Samyukt Kisan Morcha also announced their plan of action till the 26th of January 2021 to intensify and deepen the movement. A fortnight of nation wide campaign to counter the government’s propaganda called “Desh Jagriti Abhiyan” during 6th to 20th of January will include rallies, conferences and dharnas all over the country. Lohri/Sankarnati will be marked as Kisan Sankalp Diwas by burning the xopies of these three laws. 18th of January will be celebrated as Mahila Kisan Diwas to underline the role of women fatmers. Azad Hind Kisan Diwas will be marked on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary on 23rd January by protesting outside Governors’ official residence in all state capitals. In a press conference at Singhu Border, it was already announced yesterday that if the talks on 4th do not succeed, farmers will march on KMP Expressway on the 6th and subsequently the Shahjahanpur blockade will also move towards Delhi.
Farmers’ leaders made it clear that in the last round of talks with the government, though the government agreed to two minor demands of the farmers’ movement – even these are yet to be secured in writing/legal form – the major demands of the protesting farmers remain unresolved. On the demand to repeal the three central farm acts, the Government of India had asked the farmers’ organisations to come up with ‘alternative proposals’, and the farmer leaders responded by saying that there is no alternative other than repeal. The government has refused to agree, even in principle, to our demand for legal right to purchase at MSP. “We have no alternative and if the government does not meet our demand by the 26th of January, we will be left with no option other than to start marching peacefully into Delhi”, said Samyukt Kisan Morcha.
Braving the cold, thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, are protesting at various borders of the national capital for more than a month against these three new laws.