Farmers’ unions opposed to the new agri laws will intensify their agitation with tractor rallies at four border points of Delhi, including both eastern and western peripheral expressways, on Thursday.
This was announced on Tuesday, with no sign of any forward movement since Monday’s inconclusive talks with the Centre.
“These (rallies) will be a trailer for what lies ahead on January 26,” said Yogendra Yadav of Jaik Kisan Andolan at Singhu Border. As a result, traffic is set to be badly hit around the capital. The tractor rallies, planned earlier for Wednesday, was deferred by a day due to forecast of bad weather.
The tractor march on Thursday on KMP-KGP expressway is set to hit traffic severely. With the Delhi-Jaipur highway already blocked for traffic, heavy congestion is being witnessed on alternative routes such as Pataudi Road and other internal roads. The travel distance between Delhi and Jaipur has shot up around 85-100 km as traffic is being diverted from Kotkasim and Kasola Chowk via Nangal Chaudhry. The KMP-KGP expressway has been largely unaffected so far.
Farmers protesting at UP Gate too plan to take out a tractor rally to Palwal on Thursday. Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said although they are awaiting the outcome of the next round of talks scheduled on January 8, the protests will intensify in the next few days.
“On January 7, farmers will take out a rally from UP Gate to Palwal. More than 500 tractors will be there,” said Dharmendra Malik, a BKU office bearer.
Flanked by representatives from other states, who joined the farmer union leaders to project it as a pan-India movement, Yadav said the protests will spread across the country as their demands for repeal of the three farm laws and legal status for MSP remain unmet. “For two weeks from Wednesday, ‘Desh Jagran Abhiyan’ will be started and protests will be deepened throughout the country,” he said.
The tractor march on the KMP bypass road will begin at 11 am on Thursday, with farmers from Punjab, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan and other states will join the march in large numbers with thousands of tractors. At least 10 tractors from each village of Haryana will be joining the march as per the plan.
Meanwhile, despite the cold and rain, the hunger strike by farmers continued on all border points of Delhi. “The resolve is evidence that they will not go back home until their two key demands around repeal of the farm acts and legal entitlement around MSP for farmers are not secured,” said the unions’ umbrella body in a statement.
It said, “On January 9, on the death anniversary of Chaudhary Chhoturam, programmes will be organized in his memory at Delhi borders and across the country. Farmers from across the country are joining the Delhi morcha in large numbers.”
The ongoing protests at Masani in Dharuhera, Sangwari and Jaisinghpur Khera, on the Delhi-Jaipur highway have forced authorities to divert traffic at multiple locations along this stretch.
Vehicles moving from Delhi and Gurgaon towards Dharuhera faced inconvenience as police stopped traffic at Kapriwas border by placing barricades on Monday late night as traffic kept piling up. This created confusion among commuters.
Meanwhile, heavy vehicles moving from Bawal towards Gurgaon have been diverted from Jhajjar-Rohtak bypass road (NH-352), due to which the travel distance has increased.