Stalemate not ending any time soon, say farmers ahead of talks with govt.

Regular meetings on to chalk out road map for tractor rally on Jan. 26: protesters

Updated - January 20, 2021 04:14 am IST

Published - January 19, 2021 11:45 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Farmers during the ongoing protest against the Centre’s new farm laws at Ghazipur on Tuesday.

Farmers during the ongoing protest against the Centre’s new farm laws at Ghazipur on Tuesday.

A day ahead of the tenth round of talks between the government and farm unions, protesting farmers at the Singhu border on Tuesday said there were no expectations of the stalemate ending any time soon.

The farmers who have been at the Delhi’s borders for over 55 days now said that regular meetings were on, both at the borders and their respective villages, to chalk out a road map for the tractor rally scheduled on January 26.

Stating that farmers from villages in Punjab and Haryana will be joining in thousands, Manjeet Singh, a farmer from Punjab’s Patiala district said: “It is our right to go to Delhi. Even though authorities had attempted to stop us earlier as well, we shall still carry out the parade peacefully. Our tractors will have both the national flag and that of our unions. If authorities use force on us, will they be ready to attack the national flag as well?”

Plan to be finalised soon

“Currently, meetings are being held at various levels. Volunteers are being made from among the protesting farmers to ensure that nothing goes wrong during the parade. Meetings are also being held at the village-level to spread awareness and ensure people join us at the border. While people will start arriving from Thursday onwards, the final plan will be ready in a couple of days,” said Mr. Singh.

Gurlal Singh, a farmer from Punjab’s Tarn Taran district, added: “Volunteers back at the villages are making daily rounds of five to seven villages each. The march will be conducted peacefully and there are a lot of people who are interested in being a part of it.”

Ranjit Singh, another farmer who has been at the Singhu border since the first day of the protest said: “If the government wanted to resolve the issue it would not have taken 10 meetings. The matter could have been resolved earlier as well and because that has not happened the decision to conduct the rally was taken.”

Large numbers

Emphasising that the protesting farmers were united, Mr. Singh added: “We are all united and will follow whatever road map is provided to us by the leaders. Ideally, the government should give us the space to carry out the parade but when that is not the case, we will have to follow whatever plan gets devised by the leaders. There are a large number of people who are expected to join us for the parade.”

While stating that there was no “hope” from the scheduled talks with the government, Rachpal Singh, a farmer from Punjab’s Kapurthala said, “After Wednesday’s meeting with the government a road map will be issued. We will of course not be going to the main Republic Day parade route but instead have our own route. Those from the villages will also be joining in large numbers.”

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