Centre’s troubles mount as farmers plan ‘march on foot’ to Parliament on Budget day

Amid growing countrywide protests, govt may ‘reach out’ to farmers after tractor rally

Centre’s troubles mount as farmers plan ‘march on foot’ to Parliament on Budget day

Vehicles are stuck in traffic at KMP Kundali border as farmers take their tractors into Delhi for their scheduled tractor parade on Republic Day. Tribune photos: Mukesh Aggarwal

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25

Even as Delhi and the country await the January 26 tractor parade by farmers, unions have already announced their plans to take forward the agitation against the three contentious farm laws.

Samyukta Kisan Morcha leader Darshan Pal on Monday said farmers will march on foot to the Parliament on February 1 ( the day Budget is presented by the Central Government) and that the protest will be continue till demands are met.

With Opposition parties gearing up to corner the Narendra Modi government on farmers’ issues, the upcoming Budget session is expected to be a stormy affair.

While Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said he remained “hopeful of a resolution as laws are in favour of farmers”, sources said the government is “apprehensive of the agitation gaining more strength and expanse after tomorrow’s event and expanding beyond the main centre-stage of the Delhi-Punjab-Haryana-Uttar Pradesh-Rajasthan borders”.

Protests are being reported from across states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Jharkhand, Assam, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir.

In Mumbai thousands of farmers are joining the ongoing protest at the Azad Maidan. Tomorrow, they are planning to hoist the flag and submit a memorandum to the Governor.

Sources say a lot depends upon the way the situation unfolds tomorrow.

The sources said the government may “reach out” to unions once the tractor rally “passes off peacefully”. “They (unions) have been allowed to have their way (on Republic Day),” they add. Tomar maintains that 11 rounds of dialogue have not yielded result because of “some farmer unions from Punjab”.

“A few farmer unions, majority of which are from Punjab,” had objections to the laws. It was respecting their views that the government started the dialogue, he says.

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