Crack within farmer group over decision to open road to Delhi

Crack within farmer group over decision to open road to Delhi

Farmers have partially blocked the Delhi-Jaipur highway in protest against agricultural laws (archive)

New Delhi:

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Bhanu) faction, one of the key organizations leading the farmers’ protest, saw discord today over the opening of the road on the Chilla border. The road from Noida to Delhi was the only one left open as farmers’ protest escalated and the Delhi-Jaipur border was blocked to prevent farmers from reaching Delhi from Rajasthan.

The decision to open the road, blocked for 14 days, was made by Thakur Bhanu Pratap Singh, president of the organization, after meeting yesterday with Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.

But BKU (Bhanu) UP unit chief Yogesh Pratap, who has been conducting a roadside sit-in for the past 12 days, disagreed. He not only opposed opening the way, but said that he would sit there fasting until death.

The place quickly became a site of protest, with recitations of sacred texts.


The group’s national secretary general, Chimhendra Singh Chauroli, and national spokesman Satish Chaudhary resigned to protest the decision to open the road. They accused the head of the organization of being a traitor to the peasant community.

The BKU (Bhanu) faction has been at the forefront of the farmers’ agitation. The group had previously challenged the Center’s three controversial farm laws in the Supreme Court and was among the delegation that recently met with Union Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss the issue.

Farmers who have been stepping up their protests since Thursday said they would block the Delhi Jaipur highway. Earlier today, the Haryana police blocked the road in Rewari to stop groups of farmers marching towards Delhi.