AAP holds motorbike rallies in Punjab to mobilise people for January 26 tractor parade of farmers

By PTI
CHANDIGARH: The Punjab unit of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took out motorbike rallies in several parts of the state on Saturday to mobilise people for a proposed tractor parade of farmers in Delhi on January 26.

AAP legislator and Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema said the party workers took out two-wheeler rallies across the state to mobilise people for the tractor parade in the national capital on Republic Day.

All party MLAs organised motorcycle rallies with supporters and volunteers in their respective constituencies, AAP’s state unit president Bhagwant Mann said.

The motorbike rallies were organised at many places in Punjab, including Sangrur, Mohali and Faridkot.

The AAP workers taking part in the rallies carried placards with slogans such as “No Farmer No Food” and “Kisan Mazdoor Ekta Zindabad”.

Through the motorcycle rallies, AAP workers called on the people to join the tractor parade to be held on January 26 and conveyed support to the farmers sitting in protest at Delhi’s borders in this cold weather, Mann said.

“This rally was not taken out for any political purpose, nor should it be seen as political. We all come from farmer families and farming is in our blood. Our ancestors were farmers and still more than 80 per cent of the people of Punjab are involved in farming. Being the son of a farmer, we have organised this motorcycle rally to show our support to the tractor parade to be held on January 26,” he said.

“For the last several months, the country’s farmers have been protesting against the Centre’s anti-farmer agriculture black laws. But instead of yielding to their demands, the Union government is trying to stigmatize the farmers’ movement by branding them as terrorists, traitors, agents of Pakistan and China,” Mann alleged.

The AAP has already announced that it will join the farmers’ tractor parade in Delhi but “not as a political party”.

MLAs and office-bearers from the party’s Punjab unit would take part in the tractor parade on January 26.

The farmer unions protesting against three farm laws of the Centre have said that they will go ahead with their proposed tractor parade in Delhi on Republic Day.

They have said the tractor parade will be held on the busy Outer Ring Road in the national capital.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several border points of Delhi since November 28 last year, demanding a repeal of the three farm laws and a legal guarantee to the minimum support price (MSP) for their crops.

Enacted in September last year, the three laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their products anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of MSP and do away with the “mandi” (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.