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Farmers in Ludhiana take to 1,000-tractor rally to protest against hike in diesel prices

As part of the protest rally, around a thousand tractors, moved in four lanes from Malwa College in Bondli village

punjab Updated: May 29, 2018 22:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Samrala
diesel price hike,diesel,tractor rally
Members of Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) taking out a tractor rally at Samrala near Ludhiana on Tuesday. (HT Photo)

Hundreds of farmers came out with their tractors on the Ludhiana – Chandigarh highway in Samrala on Tuesday in protest over the rising diesel prices.

Thousands of commuters had a tough time after they were stuck in the scorching heat due to suspension of traffic for over an hour.

As part of the protest rally, around a thousand tractors, moved in four lanes from Malwa College in Bondli village to the office of sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) in Samrala, and covered a distance of 2km.

While Samrala police had diverted traffic to Bondli–Chehalan route, the traffic congestion prevailed for about an hour on the national highway, giving a harrowing time to commuters. “With sun shining in all its might over your head, it was too difficult to wait in traffic jam,” said Parminder Singh (45) of Model Town, who was travelling with his family to Chandigarh. “On the way, one rarely gets water to drink. The administration should not allow people to block roads, especially the national highway,” he added.

Memorandum handed over to SDM

The rally ended after state president of the Bharat Kisan Union (BKU), Balbir Singh Rajewal, handed over a memorandum to SDM Amit Bamby. The union members also tried to hand over keys of their tractors to the SDM to mark their protest, but he refused. “From last four years, prices of diesel have been hiked four times. This has raised the income of Modi government by ₹10 lakh crores,” Rajewal said.

He blamed the Prime Minister for ruining the agriculture sector and said, “He should have utilised this amount for waving off farmer loans, but the government has used this amount to benefit the corporate sector,” he added. Rajewal said, “We have handed over the memorandum addressed to the PM. SDM has assured us that he will forward it to the PMO.”

Harinder Singh Lakhowal, general secretary of BKU (Lakhowal) said, “Nowadays, agricultural work is done with the help of machinery and farmers spent ₹400 to ₹700 on diesel to use machinery for an hour.”

“If the government does not reduce the prices of diesel, similar protests will be organised in other parts of the state as well,” he added.

First Published: May 29, 2018 22:22 IST