Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait ups ante says farmers to form 'Tractor Chain' on highways to Delhi

UTTAR PRADESH: Amid ongoing farmer protests to raise various demands, including the legal guarantee of Minimum Support Price (MSP), farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said that a program has been chalked out to take out a 'Tractor Chain'.

"A program to take out a 'Tractor Chain' has been chalked out. Tractors will be parked on the highway that leads to Delhi, especially the divider highway. It was decided to register a different kind of protest so that the government would listen to us and not forget the farmers," said farmer leader Rakesh Tikait.

"We had gone to Chandigarh for a meeting of Sanyukt Morcha. We have formed a 6 member committee. It has been formed to hold dialogues with all the farmer organisations that are separate from Sanyukt Morcha...If any organisation wants to join the Sanyukt Morcha, it can have a dialogue with the committee..." he added.

Earlier today, farmers from the Greater Noida are organised a Tractor march and organised a sit-in near the Yamuna Expressway as police prevented them to go towards the expressway.

Noida police had issued a traffic advisory on Monday morning urging commuters heading to Delhi to use the metro instead of taking roads.

The Gautam Buddha Nagar Police stated that they will conduct thorough checks and erect barriers along all borders from Gautam Buddha Nagar to Delhi, which will likely lead to traffic snarls on routes from Gautam Buddha Nagar to the Delhi border and Yamuna Expressway, including Luharli Toll Plaza. The traffic advisory from Noida police mentioned that emergencies will prompt traffic diversions as necessary.

Regarding the question of SKM's tractor call on Delhi borders, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said, "We are holding our protest on our borders. Other farmer leaders are also expressing their protest in different ways. We say that many farmers and farmer leaders also left their egos and came with us."

When asked about the talks with the government, Sarwan Singh Pandher said, "Invitations for talks with the government are never sent from our side. The invitation was sent by the government itself. We are hoping that the invitation will come soon and things will be resolved. I am saying that even today, restore normalcy, and create a good environment for talks. Someone ran away from talks, and now it is the government's wish."

"What kind of environment have they created to come forward? We hope that the Prime Minister himself will come forward and give a statement that we will make the MSP Legal Guarantee Law, and all the deadlock will be resolved and the matter will move forward on this front. If a good solution is found, then it is up to the government," Sarwan Singh Pandher added.

Giving a call to march to Delhi, the farmers have been camping at multiple points in areas bordering the national capital since February 13 along with their tractors, mini-vans, and pickup trucks, demanding, among others, a law guaranteeing MSP (minimum support price) and withdrawal of police cases against farmers during earlier protests.

During the last round of talks, which ended past midnight on February 18, the panel of three Union ministers made an offer to buy five crops moong dal, urad dal, tur dal, maize, and cotton from farmers at MSP for five years through central agencies.

However, the protesting farmers turned down the demand and returned to their protest sites.


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