Protests will only intensify, says farmers’ union leader

“We don’t intend to disrupt Republic Day celebrations”

January 16, 2021 05:06 am | Updated 05:06 am IST - CHANDIGARH

Darshan Pal, president of the Krantikari Kisan Union, said on Friday that the display of unity among the farmers’ outfits and support from several sections of the society have been the driving force behind the ongoing protests against the new farm laws.

He asserted that they would only intensify further if the Centre did not repeal the laws.

He said the aim of the proposed “tractor parade’’ by farmers’ outfits on January 26 was not to disrupt the Republic Day celebrations. “Our target is not the India Gate, Rajpath, Lal Quila or Parliament. All we are asking is for a route in Delhi where farmers can parade on their tractors and vehicles on Republic Day,” he said.

“We only want show how many people have been protesting for the farmers’ cause for the past two months. The tractor parade is not only in Delhi only, but will be held at State and district headquarters across the country. We want to show that every section of the society is extending its support to the farmers, and they have a constitutional right to exercise it... but if the government tries to throttle the proposed parade, it will stand exposed,” he said.

Farmers would continue to seek permission for the ‘tractor parade’ in Delhi, Mr. Pal said. “All the outfits will soon have discussions on issues surrounding the holding of the tractor parade in Delhi. We will take the opinion of legal experts as well and find a solution.”

Mr. Pal said the agrarian crisis was not limited to Punjab and Haryana. In fact every section of agriculture-based society across the country was being impacted, and all of them had extended support to the ongoing protest. “Apart from the new farm laws, the issue of indebtedness and Minimum Support Price (MSP) have come to the centre-stage through this ongoing agitation. Also, the protest have led to consolidation and unity among farmers’ unions. In this backdrop, I am confident that this movement will only intensify across the country,” he said.

Mr. Pal said the decision of the Bharatiya Kisan Unions’s Bhupinder Singh Mann to recuse himself from the committee of experts nominated by the Supreme Court for negotiations with the farmers was a welcome move. “It’s in fact a humiliation for the government,” he said.

“The pressure of protest is mounting on the government... We have also conveyed a message to Anil Ghanwat, the farmer leader from Maharashtra who is part of the committee. If he also quits, it will be a shocker for the government,” he said.

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