Thousands of farmers protesting near Delhi against the Centre’s three farm laws have decided to postpone their tractor march by a day as sporadic rain hampered their plans to stage a protest. The tractor march, now scheduled to be held on January 7, is a glimpse of how farmers are planning to intensify their protest after the government on January 4 refused to repeal the laws.
“We will take out tractor march at four borders of Delhi including Eastern and Western peripheral. This will be a trailer for what lies ahead on January 26. As you know that the government has held seven formal rounds of talks with the farmers on January 4,” Swaraj India’s Yogendra Yadav, who has joined the protests, said.
“Seven months have passed when the ordinance was brought and later made into law. We are demanding the repeal of these laws. The only option left is to intensify our protest,” he added.
Why are the farmers protesting?
Through one of the largest strikes in decades witnessed by India, the farmers are demanding the repeal of the three contentious laws. The laws essentially change the way India’s farmers do business by creating free markets, as opposed to a network of decades-old, government marketplaces, allowing traders to stockpile essential commodities for future sales and laying down a national framework for contract farming.
These laws are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020.
The farmers claim these laws will benefit big corporate houses. The government has, however, tried to allay these fears and even said that it is ready to discuss changes to the law. The government has made it clear that it won’t scrap these laws.
Here are the latest updates:
9.00 am: Farmers make their protest waterproof at Singhu border
Farmers at Singhu border launched a massive exercise on Tuesday to cover all the tents with waterproof plastic sheets following rains in the city. Large bamboo sticks and iron pipes were brought to the border with hundreds of waterproof tarpaulin sheets to cover the tents. Farmers said a mega tent is also being set up at the centre stage from where the leaders address the protesters every day.
9:26 am: Delhi’s borders with Haryana, UP remain partly closed
The National Capital’s borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh continued to remain closed at several points on Wednesday due to the ongoing farmers’ agitation.
Delhi’s borders with Uttar Pradesh at Chilla and Ghazipur have remained closed for those coming from Noida and Ghaziabad while the opposite carriageway remains open.
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