For months, the farmers kept their protests confined to the respective states but when the Central government refused to budge, the farmers’ unions intensified the protests by announcing a march to Delhi last month-end
NEW DELHI — As the two-week-long farmers’ agitation doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of fizzling out, a new convoy of more than 1,500 vehicles has started its journey from different villages of Punjab towards Delhi.
According to Indian Express, the convoy comprising 1,300 tractor- trolleys and 200 cars with 4,000 farmers is expected to reach Delhi border over the week-end and will replace the first batch of protesters at Delhi’s borders.
Farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, have occupied highways at different spots on Delhi’s borders demanding repeal of the controversial farm laws enacted by the Modi government in September.
The laws that are going to diminish the role of the government-regulated market yards (APMCs) have triggered a widespread outrage from farmers who say the move will expose them to capitalist assault.
For months, the farmers kept their protests confined to the respective states but when the Central government refused to budge, the farmers’ unions intensified the protests by announcing a march to Delhi last month-end. Once they reached close to Delhi, the police confronted them and thwarted their entry leading to a stand-off which is now over two weeks old.
Leaders of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangarsh Committee (KMSC) told Indian Express, the convoy, in multiple groups, would replace the first batch of protesters that reached the border along Kundli on 100 tractor-trolleys two weeks ago.
“There is a huge gathering already at Delhi’s borders, but we will find a way. If we don’t get space, we will stop wherever we can. Besides, we already have a stage at Kundli. We will replace those already there, who will return home,” Satnam Singh Pannu, president, KMSC, was quoted as saying.
The farmers joining the new convoy have come from Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Taran Taran, Jhalandar, Hoshiarpur, Ferozpur and Moga who drove to Ludhiana first for convergence and thereafter began rallying towards Delhi on National Highway 1, the report said citing Pannu.
The Punjab government, run by the Congress which has come out in solidarity with farmers, has said it will not stop the movement of the tractors or protesters, saying the protest is a democratic right of the farmers.