Dilli Chalo: Farmers ready for long haul in Delhi, collect ration, funds : The Tribune India

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Dilli Chalo: Farmers ready for long haul in Delhi, collect ration, funds

Farmers mobilise support, Centre takes counter-measures

Dilli Chalo: Farmers ready for long haul in Delhi, collect ration, funds

Farmers collect ration at Yatri village in Bathinda.



Tribune News Service

Sukhmeet Bhasin

Bathinda, February 9

Prepared for a long haul during their protest in Delhi, farmers are going door to door in villages to collect ration. Besides taking six months’ supplies, they are using tractors to carry gas stoves, cylinders, utensils, mattresses, clothes, tarpaulin, and even the best cooks from each village. Farmers have appealed to villagers to send at least one person from each house for the ‘Dilli chalo’ march on February 13.

Will carry six months’ supplies

  • Farmers taking six months’ supplies for the Delhi protest
  • Carrying gas stoves, cylinders, utensils, mattresses, clothes and tarpaulin in tractor-trailers
  • Appeal to villagers to send at least one person from each house

MSP guarantee among demands

  • Legal guarantee for MSP and farm debt waivers
  • Implementation of recommendations of Swaminathan Commission
  • Withdrawal of cases against farmers during protests
  • Action against accused in Lakhimpur Kheri violence

Don’t need assurances

On Thursday, we held a meeting with Union ministers who gave us an assurance regarding our demands. However, we don’t need assurances. Surjit Singh, Chief, BKU (Krantikari)

Resham Singh Yatri, general secretary, BKU (Sidhupur), Bathinda district, said, “Preparations are going on in full swing for the protest call given by the SKM (Non-Political). As the government had conceded to our demands during the last protest on Delhi borders, we are getting a good response this time.”

Besides going door to door to collect ration and funds, village teams are conducting tractor marches to mobilise support for the protest. A farm union leader claimed that the protest had been necessitated due to the farmers’ demand for a law guaranteeing MSP. The Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, if implemented, could revolutionise the agricultural sector by addressing issues like crop insurance, debt relief and additional monetary compensation for land, he said.

“Our other demands are punishment to perpetrators of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, pension for farmers above the age of 58 and implementation of ‘Fasal bima yojna’ in letter and spirit,” he said.

BKU (Krantikari) president Surjit Singh Phul said, “We are fully prepared to go to Delhi on February 13. On Thursday, we held a meeting with Union ministers who gave us an assurance regarding our demands and said these were justified. However, we don’t need assurances, we want our demands to be fulfilled.”

More than 200 unions, including 150 of the SKM (Non-Political), will take out a march to Delhi on February 13.

However, intelligence agencies are keeping a close tab on the movement of farmers and police are also making security arrangements. Bathinda IGP SPS Parmar said, “The DG (Law and order) is making a security plan for Punjab in view of farmers’ agitation call. I can’t comment on it.”

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