Will hold peaceful R-Day parade in Delhi: farm unions
New Delhi Tens of thousands of farmers protesting against the three new agricultural laws will take out a Kisan Republic Day parade (farmers’ Republic Day parade) in a “disciplined and peaceful” way in the national Capital on January 26, the unions said on Sunday.
The farm unions representing tens of thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, have launched a mass agitation on the borders of the national capital, demanding that the government scrap three laws approved by Parliament in September. The laws are aimed at freeing agricultural markets from government restrictions, which the farmers say will leave them at the mercy of big corporations.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a platform of farm unions spearheading the ongoing farmers’ agitation, said farmers all over the country would also take out similar parades in state capitals and district headquarters. The unions said their tractor parade would cover a 60-km stretch and pass through New Delhi’s Outer Ring Road, covering areas such as Peeragarhi, Janakpuri and Munirka.
They added that their march would commence only after the official military parade on Rajpath ends, so that official celebrations to mark the Republic Day are not disrupted.
“Farmers on hundreds of tractors decorated beautifully, along with tableau, will take out an eye-catching parade,” said Darshan Pal, a senior farm leader.
The Union government had earlier asked the Supreme Court to not allow the farmers’ procession, citing security concerns, but the court had said farmers had the right to protest peacefully.
“This is not a preparation for any attack. Nor are we going to go to Rajpath or Red Fort. We will be disciplined and peaceful. We will maintain honour and dignity that the occasion deserves,” senior farm leader Yogendra Yadav said.
Yadav also said that the farmers’ tractors during the parade would only display the national flag with appropriate respect and flags of farm unions.
“The decision to hold a peaceful tractor rally with national flag on Outer Ring Road is a befitting reply to those accusing farmers of being anti-national, alleging that the rally would disrupt Republic Day parade,” said Sudhir Panwar, a farm leader and former member of Uttar Pradesh Planning Commission.
The ninth round of discussions between the Union government and farm unions protesting three agricultural laws failed to make any progress on Friday, but both sides agreed to meet again on January 19 despite the stalemate.
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