Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Sunday said that there will be no "ghar wapsi" till protesting farmers' demands are met. He asserted that the agitation against the Centre’s farm laws is a people’s movement that will not fail.
Lauding the role of "khap panchayats" (caste councils) and their leaders in supporting the farmers' stir, Tikait said said the government should rollback the contentious farm laws, frame a new legislation to assure the continuation of the minimum support price (MSP) for crops and release the farmers arrested recently.
"Yeh jan andolan hai, yeh fail nahi hoga (this is a people's movement, this will not fail)," he added.
Tikait claimed the campaign against the agriculture laws is going strong.
Dadri MLA and chief of the Sangwan Khap, Sombir Sangwan, who in December withdrew support to the BJP-JJP government in Haryana, and another Independent MLA, Balraj Kundu, were also present at the event.
Earlier on February 3, Tikait had addressed his first “Kisan Mahapanchayat” in Jind's Kandela.
The BKU leader from Uttar Pradesh has been camping at Ghazipur on the Delhi-UP border as part of a campaign by farmer unions against the central laws enacted in September.
Tikait said “khaps” go back to the days of King Harshvardhana and have been playing their role in society ever since.
“We need these khap panchayats today. You should not let anything divide you,” he said, adding that when the stir started, attempts were made to divide farmers.
Cautioning the protesting farmers against such attempts, Tikait said some people will try to divide them in Sikh or non-Sikh, Jats or non-Jats, but they should remain united.
Tikait said he salutes the 40 farmer leaders spearheading the agitation. There is not a single weak link in the agitation, he claimed.
Seeking to project unity among farmer unions, Tikait said the "manch (stage) and panch (leaders leading the stir) will not change".
The BKU leader, whose emotional appeal recently had revived the protest that was losing momentum after the January 26 violence in Delhi, said people from different sections of society are part of the stir.
Tikait praised BKU leader from Punjab, Balbir Singh Rajewal, who was present on the occasion, for providing sound leadership to the stir.
"Rajewal is our elder leader, he is very wise. We will fight this battle strongly," he said.
Hitting out at the Centre, Tikait said, “This government is pro-capitalist.”
Tikait also made a mention of the tragedy caused by a glacier burst at Joshimath in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, leading to a massive flood and causing large-scale devastation in the upper reaches of the ecologically fragile Himalayas.
"A big tragedy has struck Uttarakhand. I appeal to the BKU family and other farmer organisations to lend a helping hand and assist the local administration," he said.
He appealed to all to conserve water and plant trees to protect the environment.
Taking a lesson from the Jind Mahapanchayat where the stage had collapsed, the organisers had brick-lined the stage this time.
Meanwhile, another “Kisan Mahapanchayat” was organised at Sunehda in Nuh district, where Haryana BKU chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni accused the government of being stubborn and not considering farmers' demands.
The laws will destroy farmers, Chaduni said at the event, which was attended by Congress leader Aftab Ahmed.
With PTI inputs