Lucknow: After playing a key role in organising the farmers’ 'mahapanchayat' against the three Central farm laws in Western Uttar Pradesh, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has now decided to hold a 'tractor march' in 16 districts of the state and Uttarakhand under the banner of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU).
The tractor march, which will begin from Muzaffarnagar — BKU leader Rakesh Tikait's bastion -- and culminate on March 27 at Ghazipur border to expand the ongoing protest against the three farm laws, is part of the SKM’s outreach programme, BKU's youth president Digamber Singh said.
The 22-day march by tractors and other vehicles would cover around 1,400 km and pass through 16 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Naresh Chaudhary, a key organiser and BKU leader told NewsClick. Protesting farmers will also distribute pamphlets to the people, commuters and block the highways if police try to dig trenches to block the path of protesters as they did on the border in Delhi.
The "tractor marches" have been scheduled to start from Muzaffarnagar and Bijnor’s Najibabad tehsil, and will enter Uttarakhand, said Chaudhary, adding that Tikait will give a green signal to the tractor march in his hometown to garner support for the ongoing stir against new farm laws.
“The yatra will start from Muzaffarnagar and culminate at Ghazipur border in Ghaziabad district, where a large number of farmers have been camping for about 100 days”, he added.
Ramandeep Singh Garewal, BKU member based in Ramraj, from where the tractor march will begin on Saturday, March 6, told NewsClick: “Ramraj is a small town in Muzaffarnagar district but some adjoining areas also fall in Meerut district. The tractor march will begin from here in Mandi area and will go to Rudrapur in Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand via Najibabad’s Afzalgarh and will reach Ghazipur border via Rampur, Moradabad and Hapur districts.” He said farmers in a large numbers are ready with their tractors to participate in the rally.
"Over 400 tractors are from Ramraj alone and once it leaves town, more and more people with their tractors are expected to join the caravan. We will also distribute pamphlets highlighting the disadvantages of the three farm legislations to the people on the way," the BKU member added.
Confirming the event, BKU youth president Digamber Singh told NewsClick: “Our movement is purely for farmers’ rights. We don’t have anything to do with any political party. The aim behind such events, be it mahapanchayats or tractor marches, is to connect farmers and labourers, irrespective of their religion, in the country and should continue to gain momentum,", adding that such initiatives will continue until the demands to repeal the laws and legal guarantee for minimum support price on their produce are met.
Read Also: First Farmers’ Mahapanchayat in Eastern UP Sees Huge Response
The tractor marches in UP come after a huge turnout of farmers marked several rounds of successful mahapanchayats in Western Uttar Pradesh and Purvanchal's Barabanki district, witnessed massive gatherings.
A mahapanchayat is also likely to be held in Eastern UP's Ghazipur district on March 10 where farmers from Varanasi, Prayagraj division are expected to join in a large numbers.