The decision on the tractor march was taken on Tuesday by the nine-member committee of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the umbrella body of over 40 farmers' unions. (PTI file photo)
New Delhi: To observe one year of the movement against the Centre’s three new controversial agricultural laws, about 500 farmers will participate in a "peaceful" tractor march to Parliament every day during the Winter Session, starting November 29. The Winter Session is scheduled to go on till December 23.
The decision on the tractor march was taken on Tuesday by the nine-member committee of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the umbrella body of over 40 farmers’ unions. Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have been protesting against the three laws which have been put on hold by the Supreme Court in January 2021, at Delhi’s borders since November 26 last year.
In a statement, the SKM said it will observe one year of the movement on and after November 26 in a "massive way" all over the country. It said that from November 29 until the end of this Parliament session, 500 selected farmer volunteers will move to Parliament every day in tractor trollies peacefully and with full discipline, to assert their rights to protest in the national capital.
Farmer leader Jagjit Singh Dallewal said the tractor march will be taken out to "increase the pressure" on the Central government to concede the demands for which farmers across the country have launched a historic struggle. He said farmers from the Ghazipur and Tikri borders will leave for Parliament House on their tractors on November 29 and will hold a sit-down protest wherever they are stopped. "If the government doesn’t allow us to enter Delhi, we will go to jail," he said.
SKM said there will be a huge mobilisation from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan at all the borders of Delhi. "All farm unions in SKM will mobilise farmers in strength for this occasion. Huge public meetings will be held at the borders. Homage will also be paid to more than 650 martyrs of this struggle," he added.
The farmers’ body has also called for massive mahapanchayats in all state capitals. Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait, who has become the face of the farmers’ agitation, said the protest against the three farm laws will also be intensified in the Purvanchal region, which comprises parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh and western Bihar. He said a "Kisan Mahapanchayat" will be held in Lucknow on November 22, four days ahead of the anti-farm law protest at the Delhi borders completing one year.
"The Kisan Mahapanchayat on November 22 to be held in Lucknow will be historic. This SKM mahapanchayat will prove to be the last nail in the coffin of the anti-farmer government and the three black laws. Now the movement of ‘annadata’ (food providers) will intensify in Purvanchal," Mr Tikait tweeted in Hindi.
The farmers had earlier warned they would escalate their protests if the government does not revoke the controversial farm laws by November 26. "The Central government has time till November 26, after that from November 27, the farmers will reach the borders at the protest sites all around Delhi by tractors from the villages and strengthen the protest site with solid fortifications," Mr Tikait had tweeted on November 1.
Asked how long the protest will go on, Mr Tikait said: "If governments can run for five years, the protest can also go on for five years."
The farmers held their last protest near Parliament House in July, when the Monsoon Session was in progress. The police had given permission, but warned that there should be no march. More than 200 farmers were present at the protest. Several MPs also "visited" the Kisan Sansad, but did not take the stage or deliver any address. A strong security cover was put in place to ensure there was repetition of the chaos of January 26.
Unprecedented chaos was unleashed in Delhi on Republic Day this year as the tractor rally by protesting farmers went off the designated course and reached the Red Fort. The farmers entered the fort’s forecourt, and climbed its ramparts and hoisted a religious flag. The police finally managed to remove them after a lathicharge. A protester also died on the way to the Red Fort in what the police said was an accident.