A day ahead of the next round of talks with the Union government, thousands of farmers protesting on the Delhi borders organised a ‘tractor march’ on Thursday, describing the event as a “rehearsal” for a similar roadshow proposed on January 26 to oppose the three new central farm laws.
The march comprising both men and women sitting on hundreds of tractors was flagged off from the Singhu and Tikri entry points on the Delhi-Haryana borders and Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border.
The sloganeering farmers drove their tractors towards Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways, where they plan to converge later in the day.
The tractors sported the tricolour and farmer union flags, apart from banners proclaiming their opposition to the farm laws even as policemen and bystanders looked on with curiosity.
The farmers will return to the protest spots on the Delhi borders, from where they had started in the morning.
The tractor rally has been organised by Sanyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella of 40 farmer unions demanding the repeal of the three new farm laws and procurement of crops at Minimum Support Price.
Earlier, the march was scheduled for Wednesday but was cancelled due to inclement weather.
“The government should listen to the farmers. We are just demanding the repeal of the contentious farm laws,” Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait told IANS.
In view of the tractor march, authorities said there would be diversions at several points on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway.
“The tractor march will pass through the Eastern Peripheral Road and back through the Expressway,” a police officer said.
The seventh round of talks between the Centre and farm leaders ended in a stalemate on Monday. Both sides agreed to meet again on January 8.