In solidarity: Karnataka farmers plan tractor rally on R-day
BENGALURU: Standing in solidarity with thousands of farmers agitating on the borders of New Delhi against the Union government’s farm bills, farmer unions in Karnataka too are mulling more strident protests. Akin to the protest tractor rally called for by agitating farmers in New Delhi on Republic Day, farmer unions in Karnataka are thinking of a similar rally in Bengaluru on January 26.
The observations made by the Supreme Court on Tuesday made little difference to farmer unions, that have decided to join hands with labour unions and pro-Dalit organisations, and call for a tractor rally against the new farm bills.
“Whether it is farmers of Punjab or Karnataka, the issue is the same. We are united in our opposition to the farm bills that the Union government has bulldozed through Parliament, and thrust upon us without consultations. We are finalising our call for a tractor rally towards Bengaluru on Republic Day, in solidarity with the protest call given by farmers agitating in the national capital,” said Kodihalli Chandrasekhar, president, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene.
The farmer leader said that various organisations, including labour unions and student unions, will be part of the protest that hopes to see around 25,000 tractors participating in the rally. “Farmers from neighbouring taluks of Bengaluru will drive towards the city in the thousands, while a few groups of people from more distant districts will also start towards Bengaluru. This is our way of intensifying our opposition to the farm bills,” Chandrasekhar said.
In December last year too, farmers’ unions of Karnataka had participated in the nationwide bandh in protest against the farm bills. Pro-Kannada organisations, labour organisations and opposition parties had joined hands. While incidents of road blocking and agitations were reported from across the State, the bandh had received a mixed response.
This time around, Chandrasekhar said the rally and protest following it will be more powerful. Farmer unions in Karnataka have been agitating against the State government’s amendments to the Land Reforms Act and APMC Act brought in in the form of an ordinance by the cabinet, before being tabled in the assembly.