Here are the top updates of the day:

7.48 pm: The president adds that every Indian salutes the farmers for making the country self-sufficient in terms of food grains.

7.44 pm: President Ram Nath Kovind, in his address to the country on the eve of Republic Day, backs the Centre’s agricultural laws. “Some concerns about these laws may emerge in the beginning,” he says. “But the government is fully dedicated towards the welfare of farmers.”

6.15 pm: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar says the farmers’ agitation will end soon, ANI reports. “Anyone can express dissent if they disagree,” Tomar adds. “When we saw that some farmers, although their number isn’t very high, were protesting against [farm] laws, we thought that we must find a solution via dialogue and we still hope that issue will be resolved.”

6.12 pm: The Delhi Police give the farmers a “no objection certificate” for their tractor rally after they agree to 37 conditions, The Hindu reports.

6.03 pm: Krantikari Kisan Union leader Darshan Pal says the farmers will march to the Parliament House on February 1, the day the Budget will be presented, ANI reports.

5.34 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh appeals to farmers to ensure their Republic Day tractor rally remains peaceful, PTI reports. Singh says the rally is a “testimony to the celebration of the Indian Republic and its constitutional ethos”.

“Peace has been the hallmark of your [farmers’] democratic protests all these months, and should remain integral to your agitation in the days ahead, including the R-Day tractor rally into the national capital,” the chief minister says. “The sight of your tractors on Delhi roads tomorrow will underline the fact that the ethos of the Indian Constitution and the essence of our Republic is inalienable and uncompromisable.”

5.32 pm: The president of Lal Bawta Shetmajur Union, Ram Baheti, says there will be a tractor rally in Aurangabad, Maharashtra on Tuesday, News18 reports.

5.30 pm: Protesting farmers were stopped from reaching the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai, ANI reports.

5.28 pm: There will be some route diversions on Tuesday because of the tractor rally, says Meenu Chaudhary, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic Operations), according to ANI. “Traffic of NH 44 will divert at Singhu Sani Mandir, Ashok farm, Sundarpur, Mukarba Chowk,” she says. “Traffic of Kanjhawala will divert at Karala, Kanjhawala village and Qutub Gadi Road. We advise general public to avoid NH10, Rohtak Road, Tikri border, Nangloi, Najafgarh Road and Najafgarh-Jharoda border.”

5.24 pm: Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien says the government must bring in another bill and pass it as a law to repeal the three farm laws, ANI reports.

5.15 pm: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar claims the protest will end soon. “Anyone can express dissent if they disagree,” he tells ANI. “When we saw that some farmers, although their number isn’t very high, were protesting against [farm] laws, we thought that we must find a solution via dialogue, & we still hope that issue will be resolved.”

4.13 pm: The NCP chief also hits out at Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for not meeting the farmers of the state, News18 reports. “This governor has time to meet Kangana [Ranaut], not my farmers,” Pawar says.

3.55 pm: Sharad Pawar says it is unfortunate that those in power do not care about the farmers, The Indian Express reports. “[The] Centre refused oppositions demand to refer these laws to select committee,” he adds. “This was a way put to built consensus. But Modi government insisted it is passed as it was.

Pawar says: “The process to teach govt a lesson has begun through farmers. There cannot be a compromise on MSP [minimum support price].”

3.52 pm: Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar addresses protestors in Mumbai. “Braving cold weather, farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are agitating for the last 60 days,” he says, according to ANI. “Has the PM [prime minister] enquired about them? Do these farmers belong to Pakistan?”

3.50 pm: The Mumbai Police stop protestors from marching to the Governor’s House, ANI reports.

3.46 pm: The Delhi Police and the farmers have agreed on three routes for the tractor rally, ANI reports. Delhi Commissioner of Police SN Shrivastava says both the sides have visited the routes. “There are some anti-national elements who can create disruption and we’re careful about that,” he adds.

1.37 pm: Police say that protesters at a farmers’ rally are not allowed to march from south Mumbai to the Raj Bhavan, reports PTI. “As per a Bombay High Court order, no morcha is allowed in south Mumbai and we are convincing representatives of the farmers to follow the court order,” says Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Vishwas Nangre Patil.

He says that if the protestors try to go to Raj Bhavan, the police will stop them and only let their delegation pass through.

1.12 pm: Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis accuses the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party of misguiding the farmers of the state, reports ANI. “I want to ask Congress that NCP permitted contract farming in 2006,” the Bharatiya Janata Party leader says. “Is it okay to have contract farming in the state but wrong when Centre brings out the same? What double standard is this?”

12.58 pm: Team of doctors and paramedics under the banner of Indian Doctors for Peace and Development is on their way to the Delhi borders to provide medical assistance to the protestors during their Republic Day rally on January 26, reports The Indian Express.

12.58 pm: Farmers from across Maharashtra continue to arrive at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan to hold a three-day sit-in against the new farm laws, reports ANI.

11.29 am: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi says that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is attacking farmers, reports ANI. “He has brought three new laws which are going to destroy Indian agriculture and hand it over to 2-3 big industrialists,” he alleges. “Imagine that one of the laws clearly states that farmers cannot go to court to protect themselves.”

11.21 am: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati appeals to the Centre to repeal the farm laws. “The central government has been requested to especially withdraw the three farm laws, among the demands of the protesting farmers, so that no new tradition can start on Republic Day on January 26 or, as suspected by the Delhi Police, no untoward incident takes place,” she said.

11.16 am: A protestor, among many who have gathered at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan, says that they will submit a memorandum to the government, reports ANI. “Our families have also come with us because if we lose farming, the entire family will come on road,” the protestor adds.

9.28 am: Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee member Sukhwinder Sabhra says the farmers feel the permission given to them by the Delhi Police to hold their tractor rally was “not right”, reports ANI. “We wanted to go to the old Ring Road but we were given conditional permission and assigned the portion that comes largely under Haryana,” he says, adding that the farmers’ leaders will meet the Delhi Police again on Monday to chalk out the final route.

9.24 am: As hundreds of farmers headed to Delhi from neighbouring states for the tractor parade on the Republic Day, the Delhi Police said it is making tight security arrangements due to inputs about possible attempts to disrupt the rally, reports PTI. In a circular, Delhi Police Commissioner SN Srivastava directed that all officers and personnel, as well as Central Armed Police Forces posted for the Republic Day Parade security arrangements, should be prepared for an extended deployment to maintain law and order in the wake of the tractor parade.

9.23 am: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will not attend the farmers’ protest in south Mumbai’s Azad Maidan on Monday, reports News18, quoting unidentified officials. However, the chief minister has sent a message to the protestors, expressing his support.

9.21 am: The farmers in Maharashtra have gathered under the banner of All India Kisan Sabha’s state unit. The rally is part of the call given by Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which is leading the Delhi protests, to intensify and broaden the struggle from January 23 to January 26. More farmers are expected to join the gathering on Monday.

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Farm laws: Thousands of farmers in Nashik march to Mumbai, Sharad Pawar to join massive rally

9.19 am: Over 6,000 farmers from across 21 districts of Maharashtra arrive in Mumbai in a convoy of 500 vehicles to begin their three-day sit-in at Azad Maidan in solidarity with protesting farmers at the Delhi border, reports The Indian Express. Senior leaders, including Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, will be addressing the gathering on Monday.

Here are the top updates from Sunday

  • The Delhi Police granted permission to farmers protesting the new agricultural laws to go ahead with their tractor rally on January 26, but only after the annual Republic Day celebrations conclude, said Special Commissioner of Police Intelligence Deependra Pathak.  
  • Over 1,200 farmers in close to 90 vehicles reached Nashik district in Maharashtra under the banner of the All India Kisan Sabha’s Maharashtra unit, to begin march to Mumbai. The farmers participating in the tractor rally will converge at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan on January 24, where they will begin a three-day sit-in. On January 25, they plan to march to the Raj Bhavan, and submit a memorandum against the new reforms to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari. On the next day, demonstrators will hoist the national flag at Azad Maidan on the occasion of Republic Day. 
  • The Uttar Pradesh Police withdrew an order asking fuel stations in Ghazipur district to not sell petrol to tractor owners so that they are allegedly prevented from participating in the proposed farmers’ rally on Republic Day. The police said the notice had been issued “by mistake”.  
  • The Madhya Pradesh Police used water cannons and tear gas shells on Saturday to disperse Congress workers marching towards Raj Bhawan in Bhopal against the new agriculture laws. Six policemen and several Congress workers were injured during the incident. A number of Congress leaders, including Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh, were arrested as well.