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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Farmers from Karnal plan to take 20,000 tractors to Delhi

With Tricolour and balloons on tractors, the farmers are heading to Delhi to raise their voice against three controversial farm laws.

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh |
Updated: January 23, 2021 9:05:43 am
Farmers from Karnal plan to take 20,000 tractors to DelhiFarmers stand near a tractor-trolley that carried in two tractors from Patiala for the January 26 parade, at Singhu Border in New Delhi on Friday. (Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

A sea of tractors seems to have taken over Haryana roads with farmers from the state and those from neighbouring Punjab starting to move to Delhi in large numbers from Friday to participate in the “tractor parade” in the national capital on the occasion of Republic Day on January 26.

With Tricolour and balloons on tractors, the farmers are heading to Delhi to raise their voice against three controversial farm laws. With overwhelming response in Haryana and Punjab villages for the proposed tractor parade, there will be tractors everywhere on Haryana roads during the next four days.

In next four days, big cavalcades of tractors will move to Delhi from different areas of Haryana and Punjab like one being planned from Karnal, which will have 20,000 tractors.

From a large number of villages, the farmers plan to take all tractors to the tractor parade in Delhi. Most of the farmers don’t have plans to return to their villages early as they have completed the sowing of crops for the time-being and the harvesting of wheat will take place in April.

A farmer leader from Haryana, Mandeep Nathwan claimed that as many as 3,000 tractors moved to Delhi from Chikanwas village of Hisar district Friday. To make their cavalcades of tractors more attractive, the farmers from neighbouring areas gather at one place before moving to Delhi. The farmers show discipline with their tractors moving in lines on national highways. Continuous movement of tractors towards Delhi on Jind-Patiala national highway was witnessed from morning to evening Friday. Two trolleys were attached with some tractors to load more ration for farmers.

A farmer from Fatehagad village of Charkhi Dadri, Bijender Sangwan, told The Indian Express: “At least one member from every family will go to the tractor parade. Young farmers in the age group of 20-30 years have already moved to Delhi while elders will head to the national capital on January 25. There is one trolley for every ten tractors. These trolleys are loaded with ration enough for more than 2.5 months with many farmers planning to stay at Delhi borders till Baisakhi on April 13. The farmers don’t want to move before the government repeals the three black laws,” said Sangwan.

Sources say as many as 200 tractors have moved to Delhi from Khatkar village of Jind district. Among the early movers are those farmers who don’t want to miss the tractor parade of January 26. The farmers have plans to hold tractor parades in their respective districts too.

To add colours go their agitation, farmers from Ladh village of Charkhi Dadri were taking a camel in a vehicle which will be part of a tableau during the tractor parade. Women will take the agricultural instruments with them so that the same can be displayed in tractor trolleys during the parade. A large number of women are expected to participate in the tractor parade with many of them already qualifying in ‘training sessions’ meant to drive tractors.

Marathon man Mahender Singh, 71, was spotted running on Jind-Patiala highway near Jind. A Ludhiana resident, Singh said he will cover 300 km distance to Delhi by walking and running on the national highway.

“I don’t have any land but still I am worried about the coming generations. How our future generations will survive, if rates of food items are increased five times after introduction of three new farm laws. I have told my family that I will return only after the government repeals these laws,” said Singh.

On the other hand, the collection of funds for the farmer agitation is going on in the villages. Sources say the residents of Baroda village of Jind district have collected Rs 35 lakh for the agitation. Baroda falls in the Assembly constituency (Uchana) of Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala. Three other big villages of the constituency, Karsindhu, Chhatar and Gokhriya too have launched such initiatives to collect funds.

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