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Tens of thousands of farmers will be using public transport to reach India’s capital on Wednesday, after weeks-long protests were stymied by blockages on highways, in the growers’ latest attempt to dial up pressure on the government to meet their demands.

The farmers protesting near Delhi’s borders were not allowed to enter the city on tractors. Authorities blocked highways to restrict their movement and dropped tear gas shells to disperse the crowd. 

Since the farmers cannot come on tractors, they will travel to Delhi by bus and train, read a statement issued by one of the farmers’ groups.

In 2020-21, three agricultural reform laws led to farmers orchestrating a sit-down at Delhi’s borders for almost one year. After the government was forced to roll back the laws, the farmers presented a list of demands, the most significant being a law guaranteeing minimum prices for certain crops. Reluctant to adopt the comprehensive measure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government offered a guaranteed price for only a few crops, which farmers rejected.

Last month, the government blocked social media accounts of some farmers’ leaders amid negotiations with the growers, who represent a major voting bloc and whose voice will be particularly relevant as India heads to the polls in a few weeks.

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