After briefly appearing to be fizzling out following the Republic Day violence in Delhi, the farmers’ stir against the agri laws on Saturday seemed to be reviving with more and more of farmers groups heading to the national capital from various parts of Punjab. Various farmer leaders on Saturday claimed that with more and more farmer groups marching towards Delhi, there would a be a record gathering of peasants and farm labourers on the borders of the national capital by February 2.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) president Balbir Singh Rajewal said he expects a record gathering by February 2 at the border points of Delhi. Farmers and farm labourers at some places including Sangrur and Mohali in Punjab observed hunger strike in support of farmers' agitation on Saturday.
Protesting farmers even burnt effigies of the Centre at 400 places in 14 districts of Punjab against the new farm laws, demanding its repeal.
“People from several areas area are heading towards Delhi borders to join the agitation,” said Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan on Saturday. “Our 'jatha' (group) of at least 700-800 tractors will leave for the Tikri border protest site on Sunday,” said Kokrikalan.
He said only those people who went for participating in the January 26 tractor parade came back. He insisted that the laws enacted by the BJP-led central government would cause heavy damage to the farm sector of the country.
BKU (Rajewal) leader Balbir Singh Rajewal said people in large numbers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand are reaching the protest sites.
“Possibly by February 2, there will again a record gathering of people at the protest sites,” claimed Rajewal, insisting that it would be completely peaceful. Rajewal also appealed to the people joining the agitation at the Delhi border to keep the protest peaceful.
He also asked them not to get provoked which otherwise would affect the ongoing peaceful agitation. To express solidarity with protesting farmers, panchayats of some villages in Bathinda, Ludhiana and Sangrur in Punjab even passed resolutions, asking villagers to send one person from each family to the protest sites, said farmer leaders.
Farmers from Punjab and Haryana have been camping at Delhi's borders for several weeks, demanding the repeal of the farm laws and a legal guarantee on the minimum support price for crops.
They have been claiming that the new laws will weaken the MSP system, despite the Centre seeking to assure them in vain that the MSP system was here to stay and the new laws would only provide more options for farmers to sell their produce.