Farmers sit on a tractor along a blocked highway as they continue to protest against the central governments recent agricultural reforms at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh state border in Ghazipur on January 29, 2021.
Farmers sit on a tractor along a blocked highway as they continue to protest against the central governments recent agricultural reforms at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh state border in Ghazipur on January 29, 2021.
Sajjad Hussain / AFP

Lucknow: Showing an unrelenting mood, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Naresh Tikait, who called for a mahapanchayat in Muzffarnagar on Friday, announced to intensify agitation appealing farmers to march to the Ghazipur border on Saturday.

Addressing a mammoth crowd of farmers at the Government Inter College, Naresh Tikait announced that the agitation will continue till the farm laws are withdrawn.

“Today you go to your homes, but tomorrow you all march to Ghazipur border to join the farmers’ sit-in,” he appealed.

Earlier, the BKU president had decided to withdraw the agitation on Thursday afternoon. But he showed a volte face after the ‘emotional outburst’ of Rakesh Tikait on Thursday evening, when the police forcibly attempted to remove him along with other protestors after snapping power and water supplies.

“I had announced that I would withdraw the agitation but we are hurt after the police lathicharge and brutality at display. Rakesh has given a new lease of life to the agitation. You all continue to show solidarity and we will teach the government a lesson,” he declared.

“We voted for the government in Delhi and the state, now we will not allow them to enter our villages. It was a major mistake to not support Chowdhary Ajit Singh. We will not commit that blunder again. Agar jhande se nahi maane to danda chalega (If the government is not moved by flags, we will use sticks),” he warned.

Muzaffaragar in Western Uttar Pradesh, popularly known as 'Jaatland', has become a new epicenter of the farmers’ agitation and changing political equations in the state.

Rashtriya Lok Dal Vice-President Jayant Chowdhary, AAP Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh and several leaders from the Samajwadi Party and Congress were present during the Mahapanchayat.

Earlier, Jayant Chowdhary had visited the Ghazipur border and met Rakesh Tikait to extend his party’s support to the movement. Hitting out at Union Home minister Amit Shah, Jayant said that Shah should also show sympathy towards the farmers injured in the lathicharge and the clashes.

The Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav also spoke to Rakesh Tikait on Friday in connection with offering support to the BKU agitation.

Entire Muzaffarnagar came to a halt on Friday in view of the Mahapanchayat. Courts, offices, and markets were declared closed.

The administration even locked three police stations falling on the route of rallyists as a precautionary measure. Extra police force was deployed from adjoining districts to maintain law and order.

Meanwhile, the state government is likely to seal borders of all districts to check the movement of farmers on Saturday when they march on their tractors towards the Ghazipur border. Section 144 has already been invoked in the adjoining districts to check the assembly of farmers.

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