Farmer unions demanding the repeal of the three new farm laws and the procurement of crops at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) are holding a ‘tractor march’ on Thursday. According to news agency ANI, scores of farmers gathered at the Ghazipur border and organised a tractor rally topress for their demand.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha has announced that farmers will take out a tractor rally on the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways as the protest by farmers camping at the borders of the national capital continued for the 43rd day on Thursday. The tractor rally is likely to affect traffic in and around New Delhi.
The tractor march comes a day ahead of the next round of talks between farmers and government. Farmers have threatened to intensify protest if their demands are not met.
#WATCH Farmers protesting against Centre’s three farm laws hold tractor rally at Ghazipur border near Delhi
The next round of talks between farmers and Union Government is scheduled to be held tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/zneC5drOSA
— ANI (@ANI) January 7, 2021
Security has been tightened in Delhi in view of the march. Also, security forces have been deployed at Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) toll plaza ahead.
Meanwhile there will be diversions on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway during the afternoon on Thursday. The Eastern Peripheral Expressway also known as the Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal Expressway is a 135-km-long six-lane road stretch connecting Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. It passes through Gautam Buddh Nagar.
Talking about their other proposed tractor march to Delhi, which is scheduled on January 26, farmer leader Joginder Nain said, “We will send 10 tractor-trollies from every village in Haryana. We request people to come — at least one from a house. And a total of 11 women from a village.”
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and some other parts of the country have been camping at several Delhi border points since November, demanding repeal of farm laws, a legal guarantee on minimum support price for their crops and other two issues.
Last week, the government agreed to exclude farmers from penal provisions of the Air Quality Management ordinance and to not pursue the draft Electricity Bill. The seventh round of talks between protesting unions and three Central ministers ended inconclusively on Monday as farmer groups stuck to their demand for the repeal of three laws, while the government listed out various benefits of the new Acts for the growth of the country’s agriculture sector.
Govt won’t repeal farm laws
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said he remains hopeful of a solution in the next meeting on January 8, but asserted that efforts need to be made from both sides for a resolution to be reached (taali dono haathon se bajti hai). While several opposition parties and people from other walks of life have come out in support of the farmers, some farmer groups have also met the agriculture minister over the last few weeks to extend their support to the three laws.
Last month, the government had sent a draft proposal to the protesting farmer unions, suggesting seven-eight amendments to the new laws and a written assurance on the MSP procurement system. The government has ruled out a repeal of the three agri laws.