Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 30
Days after Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu was assaulted and turned away from the Singhu border by a section of protesting farmers, Congress leaders Partap Singh Bajwa and Deepender Singh Hooda not only shared the stage with BKU’s Rakesh Tikait at Ghazipur but were generously welcomed by teeming crowds that poured in from across Uttar Pradesh in solidarity with the farm leader.
Bajwa, who visited the Ghazipur border yesterday, told farmers that he was not attending their agitation as a Congress man or an MP, but as a “son of the soil”.
Importantly, the agitating farm unions have so far vehemently blocked politicians from entering their space. This is true more of the 32 Punjab unions which have been very rigid about political entries into farmers agitation.
Bajwa, however, told The Tribune today that he did not visit Ghazipur as a political leader.
“When I saw tears in the eyes of Rakesh Tikait, I felt it was my duty as the son of the soil and as the son of a farmer to go and stand with Tikait. I also feel that now is the time for political parties and leaders to intervene, play a constructive role and help resolve the ongoing stalemate in national interest.”
Bajwa was welcomed on the stage by BKU faction at Ghazipur but he chose not at address the crowd and just register his presence for moral reasons more than political.
“We are with the farmers and we want the matter to end amicably so that the situation doesn’t further deteriorate. Disruptive forces are waiting in the wings to take mileage,” said Bajwa.
Asked if he would visit other borders where farmers are agitating, Bajwa said he had received calls from some leaders and would go and meet them in the near future.
“Farmer leaders have been asking me to visit for a ground assessment of the situation. I do plan to visit other borders as well,” said the former Punjab Congress chief and Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab.
Bajwa was the first Congress leader to initiate the anti farm law debate in the Rajya Sabha last September and had said his party would not sign on the death warrants of farmers.