Farmers protesting against the Centre’s new agricultural laws are rallying behind the call for a ‘tractor revolution’, expressing disappointment over a 2014 NGT order banning diesel vehicles, including tractors, older than 10 years in Delhi-NCR and FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s much-awaited voluntary vehicle scrapping policy.
'Tractor Kranti (revolution)' became a buzz word after farmer leader Rakesh Tikait's call on Saturday for mobilising support of tractor-owners for the ongoing protest against the contentious farm laws.
The November 26, 2014 order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) stated any petrol vehicle older than 15 years and diesel one older than 10 years shall not be permitted to ply on the roads in Delhi-NCR.
Among others, farmers in western Uttar Pradesh districts like Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Hapur, Shamli and Meerut have been apprehensive of the decision.
"As per this order, my tractor which I bought eight years ago will go out of use after two years or at max, after seven years if the 15-year rule is imposed. It will be a huge loss," Muzaffarnagar resident Vikas Kadiyan, who owns 40 bigha land, told PTI over the phone.
Govt ready to resume talks: Piyush Goyal
Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday said the government is ready to resume talks with the farmers but asserted despite repeated proposals, the protesters have not come up with any "concrete suggestion" so far.
“This government is sensitive towards farmers' issues. The PM and the government is ready to discuss it with them. The PM even said he was just a phone call away, but somebody at least has to call so that we can move forward,” the minister said during a press conference here.
Protest limited to certain area: Tomar
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the ongoing farmers’ protest is limited to a certain area, and expressed hope to break the deadlock soon.
Talking to media in MP’s Gwalior, Tomar accused the Congress of playing politics over the farmers' agitation. “The farmers’ agitation is limited to a certain area. The government is ready for talks with the protesting farmers, and I hope we will be able to break the deadlock very soon,” Tomar said.
Pawar faces netizens’ ire
NCP chief Sharad Pawar 'advising' cricket maestro Sachin Tendulkar to be careful with his words on the farmers' issue, has not gone down well with social media users who expressed their anger against Pawar. Netizens described Pawar's statement as "threatening" the batting legend.
Cong MP Jasbir Gill slams celebs for comment, calls for their boycott: Congress MP Jasbir Singh Gill slammed the celebrities who came out in support of the Centre on the farmers’ issues after few international individuals commented on the ongoing agitation against farm laws.
"The way the farmers are being treated is not right. It is wrong. The Prime Minister should invite the farmers to his residence like he had offered tea to (then US President) Barack Obama with his own hand (in 2015), which is fine as he was our guest. We expect the PM to invite the farmers, offer them tea and biscuits and tell them the (agri marketing) laws are being repealed, and that they should be happy," said Asaduddin Owaisi, the AIMIM chief.
Farmer’s body found hanging from tree
A farmer from Jind, Haryana, allegedly hanged himself from a tree merely 2 kms from the Tikri border protest site on Sunday, police said. The 52-year-old farmer left a suicide note, which is being verified, they said. "The farmer, Karamveer Singh, hailed from a village in Jind. He was found hanging from a tree in a park, 2 kms away from the Tikri border,” Bahadurgarh City police station SHO Vijay Kumar said.