Farmer unions protesting against the Centre's new farm laws have decided to take out peaceful tractor marches to Parliament, every day during the Winter Session from November 29, shortly after their protest at the Delhi border completes one year. The decision was taken today by the nine-member committee of the United Kisan Morcha -- an umbrella body of farmers' unions.
On November 29, farmers from Ghazipur border and Tikri border will leave for Parliament House on their tractors. They said they will hold a sit-down protest wherever they are stopped.
"The SKM decided that from November 29 until the end of this Parliament session, 500 selected farmer volunteers will move every day to Parliament in tractor trollies peacefully and with full discipline, to assert their rights to protest in the national capital," a statement by SKM said.
The farmers had warned that they would escalate their protest if the government does not revoke the controversial farm laws by November 26.
"The central government has time till November 26, after that from November 27, farmers will reach the border at the protest sites around Delhi by tractors from villages and strengthen the protest site with solid fortifications," farmer leader Rakesh Tikait had tweeted on November 1.
The farmers had given the government time till November 26 during their last dialogue on January 22, he had told reporters.
Asked how long the protest will continue, he said "If governments can run for 5 years, the protest can also go on for 5 years".
The farmers held their last protest near parliament in July, when the monsoon session was in progress. The police had given permission, but had warned that there should be no march.
More than 200 farmers were present at the protest. Many MPs also "visited" the Kisan Sansad, but did not take the stage or make any address. Strong security was put in place to ensure that there was repetition of the chaos of January 26.
Unprecedented chaos was unleashed upon Delhi on the Republic Day this year as the tractor rally by protesting farmers went off the designated course and reached the Red Fort.
The farmers entered the fort's forecourt, climbed the ramparts and hoisted a religious flag. The police finally managed to remove them after a lathicharge.
A protester died on the way to Red Fort in what the police said was an accident.
Mr Tikait pointed out that around 750 farmers had died during protests across the country.
"But there was no condolence (message) from the Central government. The country's farmers feel that perhaps PM Modi is not 'farmers' PM'... and consider them (the farmers) as separate from the country," he added.
The farmers have been protesting at the Delhi borders since November 26 last year against the three farm laws: Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The Centre has repeatedly said the laws will be beneficial to the farmers.
Several rounds of talks between the government and farmer leaders have failed to resolve the impasse.