Lucknow: Adversity often serves as an adhesive, as has been the case between the Tikait brothers.
Naresh Tikait, the elder son of Mahendra Singh Tikait, heads the all-powerful Baliyan Khap and Rakesh Tikait, the younger son, is the spokesperson of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) which is spearheading the farmers’ protest.
Though Naresh Tikait has inherited his father’s legacy, it is Rakesh Tikait who has emerged as the more popular farmer leader.
Differences between the two are common knowledge even though they belong to the same outfit.
However, the developments that have taken place in the ongoing farmers’ agitation after the Republic Day violence, have apparently brought the brothers closer.
Rakesh Tikait, whose emotional outburst on Thursday night moved his supporters, also bridged the unspoken divide with his brother. Naresh Tikait announced on Friday that ‘my brother’s tears will not go in vain.
‘Naresh Tikait’s call for a Kisan Maha panchayat in Muzaffarnagar on Friday has already elicited a massive response. The GIC ground in Muzaffarnagar is packed to capacity even before the Maha Panchayat has formally begun.
Thousands of farmers are shouting slogans in support of the BKU and are fully supportive of the Tikait brothers.
“We will do whatever our leaders tell us. We are ready to march to Delhi if we are asked to. This agitation will not peter out as some people believe,” said Har Govind Tyagi, a local farmer.
The massive congregation of farmers, meanwhile, has caught the local administration unawares. All senior officers are at the GIC ground and forces have been put on alert.