New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the repeal of three contentious farm laws, spotlight is back on the key faces of the protests and blockades who led the contention while claiming to represent the farmers’ side.

A doctor, a retired teacher, an ex-army man, a former Delhi police constable, these are among the people who guided and shaped the nationwide movement.

Here are some of the key farmer leaders who fronted the protests:

Rakesh Tikait, National spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU)

Formerly a constable in Delhi Police, Tikait played a major role in negotiations with the government. The 52-year-old tried his hand at electoral politics and has been a farmer leader with the BKU for years. The watershed moment came when he broke down while talking to reporters after the Republic Day violence in Delhi, striking a deep emotional chord and also pumping new energy into the protests.

Darshan Pal, Member, Working group, All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee

An MBBS doctor by profession, 70-year-old Pal has been very active in talks with central and state leaders over the farm laws. He is known to have played a crucial role in bringing farmer unions together and performed the role of coordinator in the talks. He also played a pivotal role in taking the agitation beyond Punjab to farmers in other states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra while managing to put a collective effort to oppose the three farm laws in making it a movement spanning much beyond Punjab.

Joginder Singh Ugrahan, President, BKU (Ugrahan)

The ex-Army man, viewed as one of the more popular farm leaders, belongs to a farming family of Sunam. He has been a frontrunner in the movement with his team behind some aggressive aspects of the protests in Punjab, including the Rail Roko agitation and the 'gheraoing' of BJP leaders. While others protested at Singhu border, his group held protests at the Tikri border.

Balbir Singh Rajewal, President, BKU

The 78-year-old was one of the main leaders during the meetings of the 31 unions in planning and implementing their protests. He was also the brain behind preparing the protest's demand charter.

Gurnam Singh Chaduni, President, BKU, Haryana

Credited with mobilising farmers before the three farm laws were passed, 65-year-old Chaduni led many successful agitations earlier and adopted unique ways to protest, including shirtless marches and throwing potatoes on state highways. It was on Chaduni's call that protesters tried to make their way to a BJP event in Karnal, attended among others by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. The crackdown that followed left several farmers injured and put the Khattar government on the backfoot.

From the government's side, the negotiations with the farmers were led by following:

Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Agriculture Minister

He had been participating in talks with farmers and on several occasions appealed to them to withdraw their protests over the three farm laws, saying they are in favour of farmers.

Piyush Goyal, Commerce, Consumers Affairs and Public Distribution Minister

The Union minister was at the forefront of the talks and has described the laws as pro-farmers on several occasions and sought a resolution through dialogue.

Sukhbir Singh Badal, President, Shiromani Akali Dal

The logjam over farm laws also turned one of BJP's oldest and closest allies Akali Dal against them. Badal announced from the floor of the Parliament that his wife Harsimrat Badal would resign against the farm bills, tabled in Parliament by the Centre for passage.
In his speech during a discussion on two of the farm bills Badal said the proposed laws will "destroy" the 50 years of hard work put in by successive Punjab governments and farmers to build the agriculture sector. Soon after, Harsimrat Kaur Badal who held the post of Union Cabinet Minister of Food Processing Industries, quit in protest.

With inputs from PTI

Posted By: Mukul Sharma