UPDATED: January 18, 2021 11:53 IST
The farmers who have been protesting against the farm laws for close to two months are firm on holding the proposed tractor rally on Republic Day and continue their sit-in demonstration till the agriculture laws are repealed.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said on Sunday that the farmers are prepared to protest till May 2024. “Our demand is that the three laws be taken back and the government provide a legal guarantee on the MSP,” Rakesh Tikait said.
The declaration from the farmers came a day before the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a plea of the central government, filed though the Delhi Police, seeking an order against the protesting farmers’ tractor march or any other kind of protest “which seeks to disrupt the gathering and celebrations” of Republic Day on January 26. The plea will be heard today.
During the 9th round of talks between farmers and the government over the farm laws, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait had said that the farmers will withdraw the tractor rally on Republic Day if the Supreme Court orders. However, the farmers are now firm on their stand to hold a tractor rally on Republic Day.
The Supreme Court will also hear pleas on the issue of farm bills and ongoing protests on Delhi’s borders for over 50 days.
Addressing a press conference at the Singhu border protest site, union leader Yogendra Yadav said, “We will carry out a tractor parade on the Outer Ring Road in Delhi on Republic Day. The parade will be very peaceful.”
“There will be no disruption of the Republic Day parade. The farmers will put up the national flag on their tractors,” he said.
Meanwhile, farmers continue to organise mock tractor rallies in various parts of Punjab to encourage more and more people to join the proposed ‘Kisan Tractor March’ in large numbers.
ACP (Connaught Place) told media outlets on Sunday, “In view of Covid-19, we are trying to reduce the gathering to 25,000 as compared to 1.5 lakh people earlier. People must follow coronavirus guidelines. We have restricted children below 15 years and adults above 65 yrs to the program.”