Thousands of tractors will enter Delhi for disciplined Kisan Republic Day parade, say farm union leaders
Protesting farmers will enter Delhi on thousands of tractors for a ‘disciplined’ Kisan Republic Day parade, farm unions leaders said on Sunday. They will cover around 50km and pass through the national capital’s Outer Ring Road, they added. “No disruption will be caused to the official Republic Day ceremony,” Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Farmers from Punjab have left from Ludhiana for Delhi to participate in the tractor parade on Republic Day as a mark of protest against the three contentious farm laws, ANI reported. "We are leaving for Delhi with our tractors and will continue to do so till January 24. Around 11 thousand tractors will be making a move to Delhi from Ludhiana itself. In total, one lakh tractors will participate in the Republic Day tractor parade from Ludhiana, Amritsar, Faridkot, and Bhatinda districts," a farmer was quoted as saying by the news agency.
Farmers’ leaders had earlier said that they will hold their tractor march on January 26 on one side while the Republic Day parade is underway. However, they later said they won't march to the Red Fort and will only take out tractor marches at Delhi's borders with Haryana where they have been camping since November last year.
Meanwhile, the Centre has moved the Supreme Court through Delhi Police against the proposed tractor march by farmers. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde will on Monday hear the plea seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor rally. This is a separate plea than the one which the top court was hearing regarding farmers' protests.
Earlier in the day, farmers' unions said notices are being served by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on supporters of their ongoing agitation, which they say could be a hurdle in ongoing talks. Labelling it as “harassment” by the government, the unions have decided that no farmer who has received such notices will appear before the agency as a mark of protest, Balbir Singh Rajewal, a senior leader of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a platform of unions, told HT.
Parallel to this, consultation between farmers and the Centre is going on with the 10th meeting scheduled on January 19.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against three farm laws—Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020— enacted by the Centre in September last year.
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