CHANDIGARH: A day after the farmers threatened to step up their agitation, the protesters on Saturday issued an ultimatum to the government and said they would take out a tractor rally to Delhi on January 26 if their demand for the repeal of the farm laws and legalising of MSP was not met.
Announcing the decision of the seven-member coordination committee of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, Balbir Singh Rajewal and Darshan Pal said: “We have given a call for a tractor-trolley parade to Delhi on January 26. The parade with the national flag will be called the ‘farmers republic parade’ and will take place after the official parade.”
“We intend to be peaceful. We told the Central Government long ago during our talks that it has only two options, either repeal the three central farm acts or use force to evict us.” Rajewal and Pal said the time had come for decisive action. They had chosen January 26 for the tractor rally for two reasons: Republic Day represented the supremacy of the people while the day will also mark two months of their protest at Delhi’s borders.
The tractor rally on January 6 will go ahead if there is no resolution during the talks on Monday. Lohri/Makar Sankranti on January 13 will be observed as Kisan Sankalp Diwas by burning the copies of the three laws. January 18 will be celebrated as Mahila Kisan Diwas to underline the role of women farmers and January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, will be observed as Azad Hind Kisan Diwas. Protests will be held outside all the Raj Bhavans.
The farm leaders said although the government had agreed to “minor demands” on air pollution and the Electricity Amendment Bill, it was yet to give them legal shape. “On the demand to repeal the three farm laws, the government asked us to come up with alternative proposals. We responded by saying there was no alternative. The government refused to agree in principle to legal right to purchase at MSP,” Rajewal said.
‘Govt accepting 50 per cent of demands a lie’
“In the sixth round of talks with the government we asked them if it will buy 23 crops at MSP and they said no. Then why are you misinforming the people of the country?” Gurnam Singh Choduni asked. Some farm leaders claimed that more than 50 farmers had died during the agitation. “It’s a plain lie that the government has accepted 50 per cent of the demands.
We have got nothing on paper yet,” said Yogendra Yadav, Swaraj India president. The seventh round of talks between the government and the protesting farmers is scheduled to be held on January 4. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade on January 26.
January 6 Tractor rally on Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway if no resolution during Monday talks
January 13 Lohri/makar sankranti to be observed as Kisan Sankalp Diwas by burning copies of far laws
January 18 To be celebrated as Mahila Kisan Diwas to underline the role of women farmers
January 23 Protests on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose birth anniversary outside Raj Bhavans in state capitals
Protesting farmer ends life at UP Gate
Lucknow: A 75-year-old farmer, Kashmir Singh, committed suicide at UP Gate by hanging himself from the ceiling of a mobile toilet on Saturday morning. Police said Singh, who was from Rampur district in western UP, left behind a suicide note saying his last rites should be performed by his grandson at the protest site itself. “However, it is likely that his body will be sent to his native place and handed over to his family,” said BKU national media co-ordinator Shamsher Rana. He claimed that the deceased farmer, in his suicide note, blamed the government for his action saying it was not accepting the demands of the farmers.