January 31, 2021 4:37:54 am
Farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal Saturday said that the chaos and violence on Republic Day had adversely affected the ongoing farmers’ agitation but BKU chief Rakesh Tikait’s emotional appeal has now turned the tables. He said he expects a record gathering by February 2 at the border points of Delhi.
“After the Red Fort incident, the agitation suffered. It (agitation) was hit for a day-and-a half, but picked up after that. Now, farmers are again rushing to Delhi borders. We are thankful to Tikait sahib and we will invite him to Punjab and honour him,” said Rajewal who heads BKU (Rajewal).
He praised Tikait for “handling” situation at the Ghazipur border well when the Ghaziabad administration had served them a notice to vacate the place. “Those who have been associated with the farm agitation for a long time, sometimes get emotional. Tikait was hurt because of the way they (authorities) were treating them”.
“People in large numbers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand are reaching the protest sites. Possibly by February 2, there will again be a record gathering of people,” he said addressing a press conference in Chandigarh.
He said the suspension of internet services at Delhi borders has come up as hindrance in send the farm leaders’ message across.
Rajewal also appealed to the Centre to heed to the voice of farmers.
On a question about the Singhu border incident on Friday, Rajewal said he was aware who was behind it. “We understand that this was done by Centre, BJP and RSS. They are trying to provoke us so that the agitation fizzles out. But I appeal again to the farmers that we do not have to react. We have learnt a lot from the event that unfolded on Republic Day. We have matured. The farmers also realise this that we were more effective when we were peaceful,” he said. “The government is trying to provoke us. We will not indulge in any violence. We are alert to prevent any violence”.
On whether they will allow the political leaders to share stage with them, Rajewal said, “This is a farmers’ agitation.”
Reacting to Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh’s appeal to farmers and government to take a step back and resolve the issue, Rajewal said that they would take a call on his appeal in the core committee meeting of Samyukt Kisan Morcha.
On the next meeting with the Centre over the issue of farm laws, Rajewal said they will certainly go if called.