In the demise of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh, farmers have lost a key advocate of their cause in Delhi, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said on Thursday.
Tikait said his passing away has “distressed” the farmers, especially those who are currently protesting against the Centre’s new agriculture laws at Delhi’s borders since November 2020.
Singh, the RLD president and farmer leader, passed away at a Gurgaon hospital on Thursday morning battling COVID-19. He was 82. “In the demise of Chaudhary Ajit Singh, farmers have lost a key advocate of their cause in Delhi. While he was alive, every farmer was assured that he had a home in Delhi,” Tikait said in a statement.
He said farmers have lost some of their major advocates like former prime minister Chandra Shekhar and former deputy prime minister Devi Lal who were concerned about the community while being in the centre.
The ties of the BKU leader with Singh go back to the heydays of their fathers Chaudhary Charan Singh, a former prime minister, and legendary farmer leader Mahender Singh Tikait, both regarded as ‘messiah’ of the peasants.
Tikait, who has been leading BKU’s protest against the contentious laws at Ghazipur border since November 2020, said he had been talking to Singh all this while regarding the protest and was encouraged by him to keep up the fight during times “when attempts were made to suppress” the stir.
“Chaudhary sahib was a great supporter of farmers. His death is an immeasurable loss to the farmers,” the BKU national spokesperson added.