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The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), which led the 13-month-long farmers’ protest against the Centre’s three farm laws, experienced a split on Sunday as some of its leaders formed a new group – BKU (Apolitical) led by Rajesh Singh Chauhan. The BKU later announced the dismissal of seven leaders from its organization, labeling them as “anti-farmers.”

The formation of BKU (Apolitical) was announced at Ganna Sansthan on the death anniversary of BKU founder Chaudhary Mahendra Singh Tikait. The leaders of BKU (Apolitical) expressed their dissatisfaction with the “political” statements made by BKU spokesperson during the farm law protests and recent Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

“BKU (Apolitical) was created due to disagreements with BKU. Mahendra Singh Tikait believed that if the government accepted even four out of ten demands, the agitation should be called off. However, the protest against the three farm laws continued for 13 months before they were repealed. Despite this, people remain unsatisfied. This is a major issue,” said Harinam Singh, the UP chief of the new group.

Founded in 1986 by Mahendra Singh Tikait, BKU was led by his sons Naresh Tikait and Rakesh Tikait after his death in 2011. While Naresh serves as the BKU president, Rakesh is the spokesperson. During the 13-month agitation against the farm laws, Rakesh Tikait emerged as a prominent figure in the farmers’ movement nationwide.

Recently, Rakesh Tikait met with rebel leaders in Lucknow in an attempt to persuade them to remain with BKU. However, no agreement was reached during the meeting. The new outfit emphasizes its apolitical stance in order to engage with any government on farmers’ issues without political bias.

The BKU later announced the dismissal of seven leaders, including Rajesh Singh Chauhan, Anil Talan, Harinam Verma, and Dharmendra Mallik, for spreading false information against the organization. Rakesh Tikait stated that the dismissed leaders were undermining the interests of farmers by forming a separate group.

“The new outfit was established under government pressure. However, BKU will not be weakened by this. Instead, it will grow stronger, and the movement will continue,” Rakesh Tikait affirmed.

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