New Delhi: The farmer unions staging the sit in protest at Delhi remained firm on holding the tractor rally on January 26, Republic Day as scheduled and vowed to continue their stir till the three farm laws are revoked.
While addressing a joint press conference at the Singhu border, union leader Yogendra Yadav said, "We will carry out a tractor parade on Republic Day. The parade will be very peaceful,"he said, adding, "There will be no disruption of the Republic Day parade. The farmers will put up the national flag on their tractors," he said.
It was stressed that the aim of this proposed protest march, which will cover a distance of 50 km, was not to disrupt the Republic Day parade.
While, Agriculture Minister Tomar said that the farmer unions should give up their stubborn stand and sit for a clause by clause discussion with the Centre on Tuesday.
Except for the demand of repealing the laws, the government is ready to consider "seriously and with an open heart" other alternatives, Tomar said.
Also, Union Home Minister Amit Shah reached out to the protesting farer unions saying the Narendra Modi-led government is dedicated to the farmers. He assured that the three central farm laws would ensure a manifold hike in their earnings.
He stressed, that the Modi government had increased the budget for the farm sector and also the minimum support price (MSP) for various crops, he said at an event in Bagalkote district in Karnataka.
"I want to say that if there is any big priority of the Narendra Modi government it is to double the farmers' income," he said.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will hear the various pleas related to the contentious farm laws on Monday. A three-judge bench of the SC is likely to take up the matter of recusal of Bhupendra Singh Maan from the four-member committee on farm laws. The committee will hold its first meeting on January 19.
The Supreme Court will also hear a petition by the Delhi Police seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor march, claiming that it could lead to a law and order situation. Delhi Police has also reportedly put up posters of various terrorists, most of them Khalistanis, at various places across the national capital.
On January 12, the SC stayed the implementation of Centre's three farm laws till further orders.
On the other hand, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait told reporters in Nagpur that they will continue their agitation till the three farm laws are repealed.
"We are prepared to sit in protest till May 2024... Our demand is that the three laws be taken back and the government provide a legal guarantee on the MSP," he said.
The shows that little has changed in the unions' stand on the issue of farm bills even as the protests on Delhi's borders continue for over 50 days.