It is meant to be a ‘rehearsal’ or ‘trailer’ for the parallel tractor parade that farmers say they will hold within the capital on Republic Day if their demands are not met.
Thousands of protesting farmers will participate in a tractor rally on the expressways surrounding Delhi on Thursday.
The rally is meant to be a “rehearsal” or “trailer” for the parallel tractor parade that farmers say they will hold within the capital on Republic Day if their demands are not met. Thursday’s rally is also a show of strength before the next round of talks with Central Ministers to be held on Friday.
The rally will start simultaneously from five different points, with all five groups starting to move out at 11 a.m., according to the Samyukt Kisan Morcha which is a joint front coordinating the protests.
On the Western Peripheral Expressway, one group will move from the Singhu border point towards the Tikri border point, while another will move in the opposite direction from Tikri towards Kundli. They plan to meet at the mid-point between Sampla and Kundli, where they will hold a rally, and then return to the starting points. There are large protest sites, with tens of thousands of farmers hailing mostly from Punjab and Haryana, at both Singhu and Tikri border points.
On the other side of the capital, a third group will start from Ghazipur and head towards Palwal, joining the Eastern Peripheral Expressway at Dasna. Another group will start at Rewasan and head towards Palwal. These groups will hold a rally at Palwal, and then return to their starting points. The protest sites at Ghazipur and Palwal include farmers who are mostly from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh.
A fifth group, added on Thursday morning, will depart from the Dhansa border point and head towards Manesar. It will then return to Dhansa.
The two expressways are six-lane highways which complete a 270-km ring around Delhi, running through the neighbouring States of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
The protesting farmers have been camping around Delhi for 43 days. Their major demands are a repeal of three contentious agricultural reform laws, and a legal guarantee that all crops and farm produce will be sold at minimum support prices.