ON the 43rd day of their agitation demanding the repeal of the recently enacted three farm laws by the federal government, farmers, especially from Punjab and Haryana, staged a tractor rally on Thursday, January 7 at the Delhi border. They also staged a sit-in protest. Claiming to be the rehearsal for a bigger such rally to be held on January 26 on the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways when they will move into the national capital from Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Addressing a press conference at the Singhu border, where farmers have been camping since November 26, Yogendra Yadav, political activist and a member of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, said the tractors would leave from the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders, and Rewasan in Haryana, for the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways, and meet midway.
“This may be seen as a rehearsal of what will happen on January 26,” he said. The tractor march was held one day ahead of a fresh round of talks between the government and farmers’ unions . The Supreme Court of India will hear petitions challenging the new laws and those against the ongoing protests on January 11. A bench of Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, Justices A S Bopanna and V Balasubramanian fixed the matter after Attorney General KK Venugopal informed the court that “there are chances of the parties coming to some sort of an understanding” in the eighth round of dialogue. Security have been beefed-up along Delhi’s border and protesters are not allowed to enter the national capital. However, they have said that the traffic on the outskirts of Delhi was affected by the march. Meanwhile, Gujarat, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani today announced that farmers of all 18,000-odd villages in the state will get power supply during the day time for agriculture purposes by the end of the year 2022. Edited by PK Chakravarty