Even as farmers groups claimed that they have received permission to enter Delhi for their tractor rally that is slated to be staged on Republic Day, the Delhi Police said that talks with the protesting farmers are still in the final stage.
The development came after a meeting of the farmer organisations with the Delhi Police, Haryana Police and UP Police on Saturday regarding the proposed ‘kisan tractor parade’ by the farmers.
“Farmers will take out ‘Kisan Gantantra Parade’ on January 26. Barricades will be opened and we will enter Delhi,” ANI quoted Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav as saying.
“To save the prestige of the Republic, farmers will hold the Gantantra Parade on the occasion of Republic Day. We will take out a historic and peaceful parade and it will have no effect on the Republic Day parade or the security arrangements,” he said, adding that there is no limit on the number of tractors participating in the parade.
“There will be 5 different routes and we will create separate maps for each route. We will share it once they are ready,” IANS quoted the farmers’ bodies as saying.
Over two lakh tractors are expected to take part in the parades, which will be taken out only after 12 pm, after the Republic Day parade on Delhi’s Rajpath concludes, and around 2,500 volunteers will be deployed to facilitate the movement of the vehicles, according to protesting farmer unions, reported news agency PTI.
Several batches of farmers from Punjab and Haryana set out on their tractor-trolleys and other vehicles to take part in the proposed tractor rally on January 26 in the national capital.
Tractor-trolleys have now become a common sight at the Singhu border as the farmers have started bringing in the tractors, two placed on a trolley, to the protest site from villages in Punjab for the proposed rally.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other states have been protesting at multiple border points of Delhi at Singhu, Tikri and Gazipur borders since November-end. They are demanding a repeal of the three central farm laws passed by Parliament in September last year.
The talks of farmer unions and the government have seemingly broken down after the former insisted on their demand for the repeal of three new farm laws and the latter asked them to reconsider offer to put these laws on hold for about 18 months.
The eleventh round of talks was held on Friday. Unlike the last 10 rounds of talks, the 11th round saw both the sides hardening their positions and could not even reach a decision on the next date for the meeting.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted 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.
(With agency inputs)