Mahapanchayats, farmers’ agitation gaining floor

Vibha Sharma

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 31

First Muzaffarnagar, yesterday Mathura, today Baraut (Baghpat) and tomorrow another mahapanchayat is expected at Bijnor to mobilise support for farmers’ agitation against the three contentious farm laws in western Uttar Pradesh.

Farmers’ agitation is gaining ground and strength despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reach-out and open offer to suspend the three laws. The Sanyukta Kisan Morcha will also unveil its nationwide programme tomorrow in the wake of the happenings, including arrests, following the January 26 Delhi violence.

However, observers are sensing “hint of differences” among various groups that are now part of the movement. The presence of political leaders at the Ghazipur protest site is also being frowned upon.

In today’s mahapanchayat at Baghpat, where leaders of several khaps supported the Ghazipur agitation, BKU president Naresh Tikait was not present.

Much is also being read in some of his statements in the past 24 hours.

A day after PM Modi said his government was just a “phone call away” for talks with them, Tikait said farmers respect the PM’s dignity and do not want him or the government or Parliament to bow down to them.

Calling for a “respectful solution”, the brother of Rakesh Tikait, whose tears virtually changed the shape of the agitation, however, also said they would not “agree to anything under pressure”.

Meanwhile, prominent Gujjar leader of western Uttar Pradesh Madan Bhaiyya has extended his community’s support to the BKU and also slammed BJP’s Loni MLA Nand Kishor Gujjar, who has been accused of “inciting and orchestrating violence” at the Ghazipur protest site on January 26, though Kishor has denied the allegations.

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