A large convoy of tractor-trollies left Amritsar for Delhi on Tuesday to participate in the protest parade announced by farmer unions on Republic Day. The farmers have planned to hold a rally parallel to the Republic Day Parade, calling in farmers from across Punjab and Haryana to participate. A village in Punjab's Sangrur has even decided to fine those who choose to stay out of the rally.
Aiming to stop the rally, the Centre had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, where it said disruption of the Republic Day parade will be an "embarrassment to the nation".
Contending that it has "done its best" to engage with farmers, the Centre said, "The farm laws have received wide acceptance throughout the country and, therefore, some farmers and others objecting to the law had put a condition of its repeal, is neither justifiable nor acceptable".
The court, which earlier said was "extremely disappointed" by the government's handling of the situation, took action today, putting the contentious farm laws on hold and forming a committee to discuss the issue.
The farmers, however, have not accepted the committee, accusing the government of engineering the formation of a committee "through the Supreme Court". All members of the committee are in favour of the farm laws, they said.
"We don't accept this committee. All the members in this committee have been pro-government. These members have been justifying the laws," said the farmers' representatives at Singhu border today.
Through the day, announcements have continued from Punjab's village gurdwaras, asking farmers to reach Delhi in maximum numbers with tractor-trollies.
Sangrur's Bhular Heri village even ordered a 2100-rupee fine on farmers who fail to join the parade.
*Each farmer being asked to send one tractor for Jan 26 parade. Those who can't send will pay Rs 2,100, failing which they will face social boycott," said one of the villagers.