"6 Months' Ration Diesel in Trollies": Punjab Farmers Ready for Long Haul

Thousands of farmers marching towards Delhi say they are prepared for the long haul, carrying enough ration and diesel to last for months, as the borders have been sealed to prevent them from entering the national capital. The farmers are protesting over a series of demands, including a minimum support price (MSP) for their crops – a follow-up to their 2020 protest in which they had camped at the border points for 13 months.

Farmers say a test of patience won’t deter them from continuing their demonstration until their demands are met.

“From a needle to hammer, we have everything we need in our trolleys, including tools to break stones. We left our village with six months’ ration with us. We have enough diesel, even for our brothers from Haryana,” Harbhajan Singh, a farmer from Punjab’s Gurdaspur, headed to Delhi on his tractor, pulling two trollies loaded with supplies, told NDTV.

Farmers have been alleging that diesel is not being provided to them to thwart their march using tractors and trollies.

Mr Singh, who said he was part of the 2020 farmers’ protest, said they won’t withdraw this time until their demands are met.

“We didn’t budge through the 13 months last time. We were promised our demands will be met, but the government didn’t keep its promise. This time, we will leave only after all our demands are met,” he said, driving his tractor from the Punjab-Haryana border towards Delhi.

The farmers began their march this morning from Fatehgarh Sahib after late night talks with a government delegation in Chandigarh failed.

Two Union ministers had met the farmer leaders in a last-ditch effort to prevent the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march, leading to an agreement on repealing the Electricity Act 2020, compensation to farmers killed in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri, and the withdrawal of cases against farmers during the farmers’ movement.

However, no consensus could be reached on three key demands, including enactment of a law to guarantee a MSP for all crops, farmer loan waiver and the implementation of Swaminathan Commission recommendations.

Arjun Munda, Minister for State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, said the government is committed to the welfare of farmers but they need to consult the states on some issues.

(NDTV)