Ghaziabad: BKU leader Rakesh Tikait on Saturday asked the Centre to explain to farmers why it does not want to repeal the three farm laws, while promising it that they will not let the government bow its head before the world.
Tikait appeared to make the conciliatory offer to the government from a position of strength amid swelling support for farmers' stir with hundreds of villagers pouring in at the key protest site, Gazipur's UP Gate on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border.
What is the compulsion of the government that it is adamant on not repealing the new farm laws?, asked Tikait, who has emerged virtually overnight as a potent face of farmers' stir following his emotional appeal to the farming community against leaving the protest site.
The government can tell its reasons to farmers and we (farmers) are the kind of people who believe in the panchayat system. We will never let the government bow its head in shame in front of the world, Tikait said, apparently striking a conciliatory note.
We have an ideological fight with the government, something which can neither be fought with sticks and guns nor suppressed by them. The farmers will return home only when the new laws are repealed, the BKU national spokesperson asserted.
The younger son of Bharatiya Kisan Union's late president Mahendra Singh Tikait, made the assertion with hundreds of villagers, including women and children reaching the protest site at Delhi eastern border, during the day some with water and homemade food and others with buttermilk -- in a symbolic show of support for protestors.
The day also saw more politicians throwing in their weight behind the Tikait's growing strength and meeting him at the protest site.
The BKU-led protest against the Centre's new farm laws appeared to be fizzling out following the Republic Day violence in Delhi during the tractor rally, but more protestors joined the stir after a 'mahapanchayat' of farmers on Saturday in Muzaffarnagar.
Addressing the protesting farmers, Tikait said farmers believe in the Gandhian principle of non-violence and have full faith in the Constitution and appealed to everyone for maintaining peace.
The farmers won't mind if the police even baton-charged them but if goons of political parties dare touch them, neither the farmers nor their tractors would leave the site, he asserted.
The tears that I shed the other day were not mine but of all farmers, he added, imparting an emotional edge to his address.
Politicians continued to reach the protest site at UP Gate for a second day, even as Tikait insisted that no political leader would be allowed on the central platform and meetings with them would happen only off stage.
The political leaders who met Tikait on Saturday and extended his support to him included Indian National Lok Dal leader Abhay Chautala and Gujjar leader and former MLA Madan Bbhaiyya.
Tikait's spiritual guru and founder of Neelkanth Ashram Amit Maharaj also reached the protest site, carrying Gangajal for him.
He gave the holy water to Tikait to consume and blessed him, paying God to give him the strength to transform the stir into a mega movement of farmers.
Around 3,000 security personnel including those from the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), Rapid Action Force (RAF) in anti-riot gears and civil police, were deployed at the protest site, according to officials.