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Rehearsals on, farmers plan it big on R-Day

Farm leaders across the state have backed their unions’ decision in Delhi, rejecting the central government’s offer to put on hold the controversial agricultural laws for next 18 months, saying now they will focus on making the proposed tractor march on Republic Day a big success.

In Sangrur, the preparations are in full swing. “Only repeal of the black laws can convince us against the tractor march. If the BJP-led central government is really serious, it must immediately repeal the laws, otherwise authorities should get ready to make proper arrangements for the tractor march,” said Harjinder Singh Gharachon, a Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) Bhawanigarh leader.

From Patiala, farmers and youth leaders are openly gathering support and reaching out to villagers to join the tractor rally proposed in Delhi on Republic Day. “We have asked students and employees to apply for a three-day leave, from January 24 to 27, to participate in the proposed tractor march from Tikri border to Delhi on January 26”, said Youth Congress leader Mansimrat Singh Riar.

The Congress leader has joined many others in Punjab who are making arrangements to join the protesters at Delhi borders for the tractor march against the contentious farm laws. They are disposing of their work in advance to ensure their participation in the tractor parade. “We will go there with all my friends and family members. On January 26 we will be in Delhi. I have already applied for a two-day leave from my online classes”, said Rajan Verma, a mathematics tutor.

In Jalandhar, farmers stated that people had lost trust in the government and its leaders. Satnam S Kalhon, general secretary, BKU (Doaba), said: “We have strongly opposed any proposal of the government to bury the issue by deciding to put the laws on hold. We will not settle for anything less than the repeal.”

Farmers from the Majha region, too, echoed similar views. Farmer leader Rattan Singh Randhawa of Jamhoori Kisan Sabha: “It is the same government which was adamant and claimed that the laws are good for farmers. Now, if it has offered to put the laws on hold, it is an achievement of the people. Keeping in consideration the sentiments and aspirations of people, it should now repeal the Acts at the earliest.”

Farmer Rawel Singh from Chabal said: “The Centre just wants to end the protest Its offer is just a tactic to delay the decision on the laws.”

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