Home >News >India >Farmers to march on foot to parliament on 1 Feb, say protesting unions

The farmers' unions who have been protesting against the contentious agri laws at Delhi border points plan to march towards the parliament in New Delhi on 1 February if their demands are not met.

"On 1 February, we will march on foot towards Parliament in Delhi from different locations," said Darshan Pal of Krantikari Kisan Union on Monday.

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The announcement comes a day before the proposed tractor march by farmers on Republic Day in the national capital.

The farmers are planning to take out a massive rally after the Republic Day parade. The number of tractors participating in the event has not been ascertained yet.

The routes for the march have also become a bone of contention between the protesting farmers and Delhi police, a day after formal permission was granted to the agri unions for the same.

Farmers' leaders have said that the permitted routes are not the same that was decided by them earlier.

Meanwhile, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday termed the government's proposal to suspend new farm laws for 1-1.5 years as the "best offer" and hoped that the protesting farmers' unions will soon reconsider it and convey their decision.

Why are farmers protesting?

Thousands of farmers have been protesting on different borders of the national capital since 26 November last year against the three newly enacted farm laws - Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Eleven rounds of talks between farm unions and the government have failed to end the ongoing impasse as the protesters are demanding a complete withdrawal of the laws and legal guarantee for MSP.

The Centre had offered to suspend the laws for up to 18 months at a meeting with farm unions on 20 January. It had earlier asked the farmers to consider amendment of contentious provisions. Farm unions have rejected both the proposals.

Enacted in September last year, the three laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of MSP and do away with the "mandi" (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

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