At the call of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), tractor rallies were held by kisan unions all over the country on January 26, 2024. As per the reports received, such rallies were held in 484 districts of 27 states and union territories.
In many places, the kisans were joined by trade unions and workers’ organisations, organisations of women, youth and students, who all marched in solidarity with the kisans.
Kisans in Punjab organised tractor rallies at Sangrur, Jalandhar, Mohali and other places in support of their demands. Rallies were taken out at nearly 100 places in Punjab, including at the tehsil and the district headquarter levels. Such rallies were held all over Haryana as well Uttar Pradesh. Braving the cold weather, especially in North India, lakhs of kisans in tens of thousands of tractors and other vehicles joined the parades.
Through these rallies, the kisans reminded the government about the written assurances it had given at the time of repeal of the three anti-kisan laws, on December 9, 2021. It was on the basis of these assurances that the kisans withdrew their year-long agitation at the borders of Delhi.
The kisans have demanded the enactment of a law guaranteeing minimum support price (MSP) for crops. They are also demanding pension for kisans and khet mazdoors, withdrawal of police cases against the agitating kisans and a comprehensive loan waiver. The kisans are opposing the privatisation of the electricity sector and installation of pre-paid meters. Their other demands include reducing cost of inputs, ensuring government controlled simple and universal crop insurance, justice for the victims of the massacre in Lakhimpur Kheri in UP in 2021 through dismissal and prosecution of the main conspirator, union minster of state for home affairs Ajay Mishra Teni, etc.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) and the joint platform of the Central Trade Unions, Federations and Associations (CTU) have given a call for massive countrywide protest actions, industrial strikes and a Gramin Bharat Bandh, against the anti-worker and anti-kisan policies of the government, on February 16, 2024.
Meanwhile, more than 200 kisan unions from across the country organised under the banner of SKM (Non-political) and Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee (KMSC) will march to Delhi on February 13, as part of a “Dilli Chalo” abhiyan. This was announced by the convenor of SKM (non-political), Jagjit Singh Dallewal. The Convenor of KMSC, Sarwan Singh Pandher announced “Out of more than 200 unions, nearly 50 will be from Punjab and the rest from Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and other states. More unions are joining us with each passing day.”
The unions in Punjab are working on it in full swing, keeping the tractor-trollies ready and gathering ration for the dharna. “It will be a pakka morcha along the lines of the farm protests at Delhi borders a few years ago” Pandher added.