Farmers’ Republic Day Parade: Stage Set for Massive Tractor Rally
Farm union leaders say that the tractor parade would be a spectacle that has never been seen before in India.
Even as the Republic Day parade would be underway at Rajpath in the heart of New Delhi, farmers protesting against the three farm laws are all set to carry out a parallel 'tractor' parade at several different routes on Delhi's outskirts and a number of places across India.
All through Monday, 25 January, farmers kept arriving in their tractor trolleys from Punjab and Haryana and many more are expected to come on 26 January as well.
Farm union leaders say that this would be a spectacle that has never been seen before in India, with rallies planned in Delhi, Bengaluru, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, besides Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Unions say, the next step would be a march to Parliament on Budget Day - 1 February.
Near Delhi, tractor rallies have been planned from Singhu Border, Tikri Border, Ghazipur, Shahjahanpur, Chilla and Mewat and Palwal.
These routes have been announced by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha and approved by the respective police forces of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
However, the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee has insisted on taking out a march on Delhi's Outer Ring Road, despite not having the permission.
The organisation's general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher said, "We respect the other unions, they have every right to carry out their parade wherever they want, we also have the right to conduct it where went want".
There is a great deal of enthusiasm among the farmers for the parade.
"The Republic is for the people and this is the people's parade," said Tarsem Singh, a protester from Punjab presently at Tikri border.
Several women protesters are also likely to take part in the parade. The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan)'s tractor convoy is going to be led by its women's wing chief Harinder Bindu.
The unions say that the idea is to "win the hearts" of common citizens and sensitise them about the need for repealing the three controversial farm laws.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha is keen to ensure that the protests happen without any incident and they have issued a detailed advisory in this respect. Here is the advisory:
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha has also deployed volunteers across the route of the parade to help those taking part in it and prevent any untoward incident.
Meanwhile, the Delhi police has alleged that “Pakistan is trying to stoke trouble around the protests” and that “over 300 Twitter handles have been identified” in this context.
Farm unions have urged protesters not to believe any rumours.
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