In a show of strength, discipline and unity, Haryana farmers atop thousands of tractors joined the tractor march on Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway and various other parts of the state Thursday. Calling this a “trailer” of Republic Day’s ‘Tractor Parade’, the farmers made it clear they were not going to retreat in the ongoing struggle against three controversial farm laws.
Tractors, far more in number that what was estimated by police, moved to the expressway from different sides. The movement of a long cavalcade of tractors were seen on roads in Haryana from morning to evening on Thursday. Long tractor marches were undertaken on national highways and local roads. Farmers from neighbouring areas moved to the KMP with tricolour and flags of kisan unions. Despite participation of a large number of tractors, the discipline shown by the agitators even impressed the policemen on duty to maintain law and order. Volunteers were managing the movement of tractors by giving necessary instructions to their drivers.
Songs related to farmers and freedom struggle were sung to boost the morale of the agitators. At many places, women were at the driver’s seat of tractors.
At Aashodha village of Jhajjar, tractors were coming from Tikri border and villages of Haryana to get on the KMP Expressway. On Thursday morning, “dholwalas” welcomed protesting farmers, who raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi while demanding repeal of the farm laws.
In Jind district, the farmers had identified a stretch of nearly 50 km to take out a tractor march. Apart from moving on local roads, they even covered some kilometres on national highways of Jind-Patiala and Hisar-Chandigarh. The tractor march was carried out in Sirsa town after farmers moved to the town from Bajekan village of the district. A similar tractor march was undertaken in Loharu town of Bhiwani district. A cavalcade of tractors led by independent MLA from Haryana’s Meham constituency, Balraj Kundu, too went to KMP Expressway. “The central government should understand the mood of ‘annadata’ by seeing today’s tractor march,” said Kundu.
“This is the first time movement of tractors on such a scale has been seen on Haryana’s roads,” said Rishi Saini, a political observer from Hisar. “Other sections of society too are coming out to support the farmers, with a feeling of guilt emerging among those who were watching the agitation from a distance till now. Now, they want to contribute to the agitation by offering food grains, vegetables, milk and funds. If the agitation keeps going on for a few days more, all those who eat wheat and rice may become part of this agitation in one or other form,” claimed Saini.
Abhay Chautala moves to Delhi border
Meanwhile, MLA and senior INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala too has moved to the Delhi border from Sirsa district in a cavalcade of tractors. The cavalcade had reached Hansi town of Hisar district Thursday evening and will move to Delhi Friday morning. On the other hand, Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja Thursday reached the Masani barrage of Rewari and Kheda-Shahjahanpur border to support the farmers’ movement. “In this fight against the anti-agriculture black laws, the BJP government and their few capitalist friends are on one side, whereas the whole country stands by more than 60 crore farmers and crores of labourers associated with the agriculture sector. Constant efforts are being made by the BJP government to crush this movement, but the farmers are united in opposing these laws. Through these laws, the BJP government has made full arrangements to enslave the farmers,” allged Selja.
The BJP has been blaming the Congress for misleading the farmers on the issue of farm laws insisting the laws were introduced for the welfare of farming community.