Thursday, February 22, 2024

Farmers firm on R-Day tractor march


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New Delhi, Jan 17: Agitating farmer unions on Sunday remained firm on holding a tractor rally on the Republic Day and vowed to continue their stir till the agri laws are repealed, even as Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar urged them to discuss “alternatives” to scrapping the legislation at the next meeting scheduled for January 19.
“We are prepared to sit in protest till May 2024… Our demand is that the three laws be taken back and the government provide a legal guarantee on the MSP,” Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait told reporters in Nagpur. The statement indicating little change in the unions’ stand came ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on Monday on the issue of agri bills and ongoing protests on Delhi’s borders for over 50 days.
The top court would also hear on Monday a plea of the central government, filed though the Delhi Police, seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor march or any other kind of protest by farmers “which seeks to disrupt the gathering and celebrations” of Republic Day on January 26.
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. Stressing that the farmer unions should give up their “stubborn” stand after the apex court’s stay on the laws on January 12, Agriculture Minister Tomar said they should come for a clause by clause discussion on Tuesday. “Now that the Supreme Court has stayed the implementation of these laws, then there is no question of being stubborn,” Tomar told reporters before leaving for his home constituency of Morena in Madhya Pradesh. The government wants farmer leaders to come for a clause by clause discussion at the next meeting on January 19. Except for the demand of repealing the laws, the government is ready to consider “seriously and with an open heart” other alternatives, he said. (PTI)


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