Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal, whose party pulled out of ruling NDA over the contentious farm laws, on Sunday visited the Ghazipur area near the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border to lend his support to the ongoing farmers’ agitation.
Prior to Badal’s arrival, Bharat Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait announced that no politicians will be given the microphone to speak on the main stage, claiming that he has received a notice for allowing political leaders to take up the stage and address protesters in the last few days.
Badal met Tikait for ten minutes near the protest site, and assured support to the protesting farmers.
The Akali Dal, a long standing ally of the BJP, pulled out of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in September last year over the farm Bills, terming them ‘black laws’ and demanding their immediate withdrawal.
Besides Badal, prominent Punjabi singers Harsh Cheema and Karvinder Garwal also joined the protest to lend their support.
The agitation has entered the 67th day at the second-biggest protest site. The farmers, bearing the Indian flag, could be seen raising slogans of ‘jai kisan, jai jawan’ in the area. The crowd has also swelled up.
Various preventive measures have been put in place by the police and administration at the site, including suspension of internet, increased deployment of personnel and strict vigilance.
Speaking to IANS earlier on Sunday, Tikait asserted: “We will not compromise under pressure. Once our farmer brothers are released and things are streamlined, we will talk to the government.”