Thousands of farmers today initiated their tractor march from protest venues near the Delhi border. According to the farm unions, this tractor rally is just “rehearsal” for their proposed January 26 tractor parade that is planned to move into Delhi. 

Joginder Singh Ugrahan of Bharat Kisan Union said that farmers participated in the march with over 3,500 tractors and trolleys amid tight security.

The farmers initiated their march around 11 am and moved towards the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway amid security personnel of Delhi Police and Haryana Police keeping a guarded check. 

The 135 km long six-lane stretch which surrounds the NCR and acts as a freeway for trucks was filled with thousands of trucks today. The rally started on the Western Peripheral Expressway which starts at Ghaziabad and ends in Palwal. It should be noted that more than 40 farmer’s unions called this rally and took part in it. 

In the interim, the Union Minister of State for Agriculture, Kailash Choudhary made an appeal to the farmers to keep the protest peaceful. While speaking to the news agency ANI, Choudhary said, “I would like to appeal to farmers to keep it peaceful. It is their right to protest but there are people, like Communists, who are inciting farmers and don’t want peace in the country. Farmers need to be cautious. I expect that tomorrow’s meeting will bring some positive news.”

This Tractor March comes a day ahead of the new round of talks with the government that is planned for Friday. The seventh and most recent round of talks which took place on Monday remained inconclusive. 

The seventh talk was focused around two key agendas- complete repelling of the highly debated introduced farm laws and a provision of legal guarantee on MSP. Both the sides that are on either side of the laws drew the hard line and the issue halted on a stalemate. 

BJP on Thursday said that farmers should have been patient and should have waited till the next round of talks. The ruling party said that the farmers should not have rallied out and called for a march before the scheduled talks. According to the center, the farmer’s unions will be heard again during another round of talks on 8th January. 

Meanwhile, the Delhi Traffic Police took to Twitter and alerted the netizens about the closed traffic movement. 

Farm Leaders: Will Burn Farm Bill on Lohri on January 13th

Farmers braving in the cold during the protest at the Delhi Singhu border will be celebrating the festival in a unique way. Farmers’ leader Manjeet Singh said that the farmers’ community will be celebrating the festival of Lohri on January 13 by burning copies of newly introduced farm laws. Lohri is a celebration observed in Northern India to mark the beginning of the spring season. During the Lohri festivities, bonfires are made. It seems this year, the pages of farm laws will turn into ashes on Lohri. 

Onkar Singh, a farm leader who’s part of the protest urged the government to leave their “stubbornness” aside over the laws. He also said that the farmers that are protesting won’t be turning back till the laws are repelled. 

Speaking to ANI, Manjeet Singh also said that the farmers will be celebrating Azad Hind Kisan Diwas on January 23. January 23 is celebrated as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary.