Farmers to march into Delhi on January 26 with tractor trolleys in their own Republic Day parade
Farmers' leaders said in the last round of talks, though the govt agreed to two demands which they termed 'minor', even those are yet to be given legal shape, while the major demands are unresolved.
CHANDIGARH: Farmers on Saturday gave an ultimatum to the Union government that they will march into Delhi on January 26 with their tractor trolleys and other vehicles with the national flag on them in a 'farmers republic parade' after the official parade if their demands are not met.
The seven-member Coordination Committee of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha made the announcement. Balbir Singh Rajewal, President of Bhartiya Kisan Union, Punjab (Rajeal Group) and Krantikari Kisan Union President Darshan Pal said, "We have given a call for a tractor-trolley parade into Delhi from the borders of the national capital on January 26. This tractor parade with national flag will be called 'farmers republic parade' and will take place after the official parade."
"We intend to be peaceful and told the central government during our talks that it has only two options – either repeal the three farm acts or use force to evict us. The time has come for decisive action as we have chosen January 26 both because the Republic Day represents the supremacy of the people and also because we would have demonstrated patiently and peacefully at Delhi’s borders for two full months in extreme weather conditions by then to get our demands met," they said.
They also said, "Lohri or Makarsankaranti will be marked as Kisan Sankalp Diwas by burning the copies of these three laws and January 18 will be celebrated as Mahila Kisan Diwas to underline the role of women farmers. On January 23, the birth anniversary of Subhash Chandra Bose, Azad Hind Kisan Diwas will be marked by protesting outside official residences of governors in all state capitals."
The farmers' leaders made it clear that in the last round of talks, though the government agreed to two demands which they termed 'minor', even those are yet to be given legal shape, while the major demands remain unresolved.
Rajewal said, "On the demand to repeal the three central farm acts, the central government had asked farmers’ organisations to come up with 'alternative proposals' and we responded by saying that there is no alternative other than repeal. The government has refused to agree, even in principle, to our demand for legal right to purchase at MSP."
Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav said, "It's a plain lie that the government has accepted 50 per cent of farmers' demands. We've got nothing on paper yet."
Bhartiya Kisan Union Haryana President Gurnam Singh Choduni said, "In the sixth round of talks, we asked the government if it will buy 23 crops at the Minimum Support Price and they said 'no'. Then why are you misinforming the people of the country?’’
"We have no alternative and if the government does not meet our demand by January 26, we will be left with no option other than to start marching peacefully into Delhi. So far, over 50 farmers have died during our agitation," said the other leaders of Samyukt Kisan Morcha who include Ashok Dhawale, Jagjit Singh Dallewal and Bhimanyu Kohad.
The seventh round of talks between the government and protesting farmer unions is scheduled to be held on January 4.
In the sixth round of talks, some common ground was reached on two issues -- power tariff and penalties for stubble burning -- but the deadlock remained over the main contentious issues of the repeal of three farm laws and a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP).