Only Repeal, No Suspension: Farmers Ahead of 7th Round of Talks
Farmers warned of a Republic Day tractor rally in Delhi if their demands are not met.
Amid the continuing deadlock over the three contentious farm laws, farm leaders on Saturday, 2 January, announced plans to intensify their protest if the talks with the government fail and if there is no relief from the Supreme Court.
In a press conference, the seven-member Coordination Committee of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha said that farmers will march into Delhi on 26 January 2021 with their tractors, trolleys and other vehicles to protest against the new farm legislations.
“There will be a tractor parade from Singhu, like a Republic Day parade... From 6 to 20 January, we will give a call to organise rallies across the nation to pressurise the government. On 26 January, farmers all over India will parade their tractors with flags... and there will be tractor march around Delhi.”Darshan Pal, Krantikari Kisan Union President
“If the demands aren’t met by 26 January, farmers who are stationed at the Delhi borders will enter Delhi and exercise their democratic rights and go on a parade,” Pal said.
The farmers’ Republic Day parade, it was said, would be held after the official parade.
The farm leaders also announced the ‘Desh Jagriti Abhiyan’ – a fortnight-long campaign with planned conferences, rallies and dharnas to be held between 6-20 January.
On the day of Lohri celebrations, on 13 January, copies of the three new legislations will be burnt as a mark of protest.
A press note released by the committee said, “18 January will be celebrated as Mahila Kisan Diwas to underline the role of women farmers. Azad Hind Kisan Diwas will be marked on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary on 23 January by protesting outside the Governor's official residence in all state capitals.”
So far, there have been six rounds of talks between the government and the farmers’ unions. However, there has been no breakthrough on the two main demands around legalising MSP and a rollback of the new legislations.
Ahead of the seventh round of talks, which is scheduled for 4 January, MoS Kailash Chaudhary said, “I am confident that in the next round of talks with the farmers, a solution will be reached and the ongoing protests will come to an end. The three farm bills are in favour of farmers. They used to demand to get rid of middlemen and sell their produce at a rate of their choice. Regarding contract farming, in the new Bill, there can’t be an investigation against farmers even if they are at fault. It also states there won’t be an agreement regarding the lands of farmers. The Bill is favourable for farmers and PM Modi wants them to become 'atmanirbhar'.”
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