After the violence that was ensued on 26th January during the tractor parade, which led to thousands of protesters clashing with the Delhi police, leaving the peaceful movement in tatters, the farmer unions claim they have no intention of delaying or abandoning their march to the Parliament on February 1. February 1 is also slated to be the day when the Union Budget will be presented in the Indian Parliament.
In a statement issued by the farmer’s union Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the union has distanced itself from the violence that occurred in the national capital on 26th January. The union has also called off the rally with an immediate effect. However, SKM still maintains that the protest will continue peacefully. The next step of the movement will the farmers marching on foot to the Parliament on the day when the Union Budget will be presented.
The farm union leaders are still adamant on their core demand – complete repealing of the three new farm laws and a legal guarantee to minimum support price (MSP). The farm unions, who have been protesting on the Singhu Border for more than two months are now being interrogated about how the tractor parade spun out of control.
Earlier, on January 25th the leader of Krantikari Kisan Union Darshan Pal announced that the farmers have planned to hold a march towards the country’s Parliament on the day the budget will be presented.
Darshan Pal said, “We will march towards Parliament on foot from different locations on the budget day on February 1. As far as tomorrow’s tractor rally is concerned, it will give the government an idea of our strength and they will know the agitation is not just limited to Haryana or Punjab but it is an agitation of whole of the country,”
After the chaos triggered by farmers deviating from their original plan of having a peaceful tractor parade, security has been beefed up in the national capital. Areas near and around the iconic Red Fort, along with other suburbs where the violence sparked yesterday have paramilitary forces deployed.
The three farm laws enacted in September last year have been at the front and center of debates, protests, and now, violence. The centre claims the three farm laws to be an agricultural reform through which the nation’s farmers will be able to sell their produce nationwide without the need of a middleman.
The farmers however expressed how the new laws eliminate minimum support price through which they can rest assured they will receive a fixed amount no matter what. The farmers have also expressed their dismay and have claimed how the new farm laws will leave them at the mercy of the bigger corporates.
The protesting farmers have been staying in solidarity and have camped at three border points in New Delhi: Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur. The farmers are determined that they won’t leave until the government repels the “black laws”. The Centre, however, have maintained their stance of saying that the laws won’t be repealed.
However, the Centre recently agreed to suspend the implementation of the laws for one and a half years. The Agricultural Minister of India Narendra Singh earlier this week said that the offer given by the government is the best offer the farmers will receive and they should reconsider it.