With wheat harvesting almost over in Punjab, scores of farmers and farm labourers are all set to ‘march’ again to State borders of Delhi on May 5 in a bid to ensure the momentum of the ongoing agitation against Centre’s farm laws stays intact.
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan), one of the largest outfit in Punjab, and the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC), a prominent outfit at the forefront of the ongoing farmers’ agitation, have announced that batches of farmers and farm labourers from several parts of the State will start moving in the coming days towards Delhi so that the number of protesters at the agitation sites keeps growing.
While the BKU (Ugrahan) is planning to send ‘big batches’ of farmers after May 10, the KMSC plans to send scores of its member farmers and farm labourers from Amritsar district on May 5.
“Several groups of farmers are all set to leave for Delhi on May 5 from Amritsar. Preparations have been almost complete, and we would ensure that the momentum of agitation at the protests site on Delhi borders doesn’t drop for the want of number of protesters,” KMSC general secretary Sarvan Singh Pandher told The Hindu on Tuesday.
“On May 5, at least one thousand tractor-trolleys and other vehicles will start their march from Amritsar district alone to Delhi. We are expecting 10,000-15,000 people to part of our latest batch, which will go to Singhu-Kundli border. Since the agitation started on Delhi borders, this is our twelfth big batch that would be going. Smaller number of farmer batches keep continuously going and come back from Delhi borders on routine basis from many villages as well,” he said.
‘Demand for repeal will continue’
Mr. Pandher added that the BJP-led Central government should not remain under any misconception that the agitation would fizzle out. “We will continue our battle until our demands are met. Farmers from Punjab will continue to throng Delhi borders unless the government repeals the three controversial farm laws,” he said.
Tens of thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several places at Delhi borders for many months, demanding a repeal of the three farm laws.
Sukhdev Singh, general secretary of the BKU (U), said that the outfit was currently busy holding meetings with farmers across all the districts to discuss new strategies for the ongoing agitation. “After holding discussions with farmers, which will continue till May 10, we will be sending a contingent of people from the State to Delhi border. We are mobilising people to strengthen the Delhi ‘morcha’ (front). We are continuously holding activities to mobilise people to go to Delhi as well as to strengthen the ongoing ‘morchas’ in Punjab as well,” he said.
“On April 21, a contingent of around 18,000 farmers had left for Delhi. Now again we are preparing to send a large number of people to Delhi ‘morchas’,” he said.
The BKU (U) has a considerable hold in at least 16 districts of Punjab, which mainly include Patiala, Sangrur, Mansa, Bathinda, Moga, Barnala, Faridkot, Muktsar, Fazilka, Ferozpur, Tarn Taran, Amritsar, Gurdapsur, Ludhiana and Jalandhar.
Mr. Singh said the BKU (U) would not accept anything less than repealing of the farm laws. “Also, the government should ensure procurement of all crops and in all the States at Minimum Support Price as legal right,” he added.