In a massive boost to the protesting farmers, Mahatma Gandhi's granddaughter Tara Gandhi Bhattacherjee on Saturday, addressed the farmers at their protest site in Ghazipur. Stating that the farmers' protest resonated in truth, she said that she will always stand by truth. She was joined by Gandhi Smarak Nidhi chairman Ramchandra Rahi, All-India Sarv Seva Sangha managing trustee Ashok Saran, Gandhi Smarak Nidhi director Sanjay Singha and National Gandhi Museum director A Annamalai.
There is so much truth in your reason that it speaks for itself. I am with truth and will always stand by it: Tara Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi at Ghazipur (Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border) on 78th day of the sit-in protest against the farm laws there pic.twitter.com/bK63M1hW3i— ANI (@ANI) February 13, 2021
Stating that she had come to pray for the farmers, she recalled that the first fight for independence from the British rule in 1857 had also started from Meerut in western Uttar Pradesh. Currently, farmers are camped at Delhi's borders in Ghazipur, Tikri and Singhu for the 78th consecutive day. Farmers have vowed to intensify the stir nationwide with more rail rokos, chakka jams, toll booth freeing, and Maha Kisan Panchayats.
After completing a peaceful 'Chakka Jam' across India except in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, farmers have intensified the protests with BKU leader Rakesh Tikait announcing a tour across Western India from February 14 to 23 - covering Haryana Maharashtra and Rajasthan, holding Kisan Mahapanchayats in these places to encourage more farmers to join the protests. Moreover, after the violence witnessed on Republic Day, Delhi police fortified the city borders by cementing nails near barricades, deploying additional troops, adding barbed wires etc at Ghazipur (Delhi-Uttar Pradesh) and Tikri (Delhi-Haryana) borders, blocking access to the roads completely. MHA had snapped off internet across all three border areas - Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur and later extended the ban to 1-2 days more. Farmers have reiterated 'No Ghar Wapsi till Law Wapsi', as the protests have caught several international celebrities' interest online.
After Tikait's breakdown at Ghazipur due to Yogi govt's diktat to 'vacate Ghazipur protest site', politicians thronged Ghazipur border, where Tikait and other UP farmers are camped at. While Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh addressed the Kisan Mahapanchayat at Muzaffarnagar, politicians like Abhay Singh Chautala, Chaudhary Ajit Singh, Sanjay Singh, Arvind Kejriwal spoke to Tikat after he broke down. Many other leaders like Indian National Lok Dal’s Abhay Singh Chautala, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party’s Hanuman Beniwal, Congress' Ajay Lallu and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut have visited Tikait at Delhi borders. After 11 rounds of Centre-farmer talks, the two parties failed to reach a middle ground after a five-hour meeting with the associations refusing to agree to the Centre's proposal for suspending the implementation of the aforesaid legislation for one and a half years.