Farmers’ unions in Haryana and Punjab, operating under the banner of the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, are gearing up for a significant tractor march towards Delhi on 13th February. This march is part of their ongoing agitation to press for several demands, primarily focusing on securing a guaranteed minimum support price (MSP) for their crops.
They are once again all prepared to move to Delhi borders in name of Farmers Protest and create unrest . All this is part of the toolkit , look at their faces , they find fun in destroying govt property and attacking civilians and policemen. @HMOIndia @AmitShah pic.twitter.com/TVuGxlFTmF
— Amitabh Chaudhary (@MithilaWaala) February 4, 2024
Tractor Marches and Ongoing Protests
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, a coalition of over 40 farmers unions that played a pivotal role in the farm agitation in 2020-21, has distanced itself from the call for the Delhi march. Instead, it has urged people to participate in industrial and sectoral strikes on 16th February as part of their ongoing protest.
Several farmers’ bodies, including the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Sidhupur), Progressive Farmers’ Front, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Shaheed Bhagat Singh), Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Bhartiya Kisan Naujwan Union (Punjab), and Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, have been conducting tractor marches in villages across Haryana and Punjab for over a week now. These marches aim to highlight the unfulfilled promises made by the government and demand justice for farmers.
During a press conference in Chandigarh, farmer leaders Jagjit Singh Dallewal, Ramandeep Singh Mann, and Abhimanyu Kuhar expressed their discontent with the government’s failure to honor the promises made during the lifting of their Delhi agitation in December 2021. They also highlighted the government’s disregard for the pre-poll promises made in 2014 and 2019.
Abhimanyu Kuhar, the president of Bhartiya Kisan Naujwan Union, announced that farmers from Haryana and Punjab would commence their tractor march from three different borders: the Shambhu border near Ambala, the Dabwali Border in Sirsa district, and the Khanauri border near Sangrur, moving towards Delhi.
Demands and Allegations of Farmers’ Unions
The demand for a fair MSP is at the forefront of the farmers’ agitation. According to Kuhar, if the government calculates the MSP based on the formula of C2 plus 50 percent recommended by the Swaminathan panel in its 2006-07 report, the MSP for wheat would range between Rs 4,300 and Rs 4,500. However, the current MSP for wheat stands at Rs 2,275 per quintal for the 2024-25 marketing season.
Farmers are also demanding a pension scheme of Rs 10,000 per month for farmers above the age of 58, a crop insurance scheme, and the withdrawal of all criminal cases registered against farmers in 2020.
Despite the ongoing protests, the Ambala police have warned against participating in strikes or agitation without prior permission. Ambala SP Jashandeep Singh Randhawa stated that stern action would be taken against those participating in any agitation without proper authorization.