Mutiple tractor parades today on smaller stretches

NEW DELHI: Farmers’ unions are finalising arrangements at three different borders for the Republic Day tractor parade. Farmers have reached different sites around Delhi with their tractors in large numbers to participate in Tuesday’s protest parade. The tractor parade would lead to spread of the agitation to other parts of the country, a union leader told ET. On Monday, the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha also announced a Parliament march on February 1, the day the Union Budget would be presented.

“Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha and others have joined the movement. We think after the parade, the movement will spread to different parts of the country. It started in Punjab and now farmers of Haryana, UP and Uttarakhand are completely supporting the movement,” Kirti Kisan Union vice-president Rajinder Singh told ET.

SKM has a group of 3,500 volunteers to manage the tractor parade. They will be given special clothes. Around six to seven special committees have been formed to take care of food, shelter, health and other issues during the parade. After talks with police of Delhi, Haryana and UP, the parade route has been divided into several small stretches rather than one route. The unions had wanted to use Delhi’s Outer Ring Road earlier. Some unions are unhappy over the new route.

“What is the point in having the parade on a road where no one can be seen around? Our boys are charged up and they won’t accept such routes,” Sardar VM Singh, national convener of Rashtriya Kisan Majdoor Sangathan (RKMS) told ET. “They have issued the order but on ground we have to execute it. It doesn’t mean I am against them,” he said. RKMS has been protesting at the Ghazipur border and VM Singh was removed from SKM in December. SKM has jointly appealed to the farmers to follow the route. “What difference does one or another road make to the parade? Those opposing it are not part of us. Is it possible for 3.5 lakh tractors to move on a single road? The fact that the government has shortened the route of the annual Republic Day parade indicated pressure on it from farmers”, Rajinder Singh told ET. The leaders have advised farmers to carry two days’ provisions, as the parade is expected to go beyond a day considering the number of vehicles.

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