Buoyed by a massive turnout of supporters, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Jayant Chaudhary, while addressing the ‘Loktantra Bachao’ rally in Muzaffarnagar today in the presence of Congress and Samajwadi Party leaders, appealed to the Jat community to return to the RLD and ensure the exit of the BJP governments in Uttar Pradesh and at the Centre.

Evidently, the RLD sought to display its show of strength through its ‘Loktantra Bachao` rally on the ground of Government Inter College in Muzzaffarnagar. Thousands of RLD supporters, mainly those belonging to the Jat community, had turned up for this rally, which was also supported by the Congress, SP, and Shiv Sena. Senior leaders of these parties were also present at this rally and appealed to the people to oust the “double-engine BJP governments” in the next elections. The Bhartiya Kisan Union also extended its support to the rally.

Addressing the rally, Jayant Chaudhary, a former MP, said that he was attacked twice in UP and that he was ready for it “100 times for the sake of saving the democracy in the country”. The UP police lathicharged Jayant in Hathras on 4 October when he was speaking to media. He had gone there to meet the family members of the deceased Dalit girl there, who had passed away after her alleged gangrape by four upper-caste men.

Strongly raising the issue of attacks on Opposition leaders — including Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi of the Congress , Derek O Brian of the Trinamul Congress, SP leaders besides him — Jayant said it was time to come out of slumber and give a befitting reply to the BJP government for its alleged atrocities against the poor people . Calling himself their “brother”, Jayant urged the people to support the RLD and strengthen it so that they could collectively topple the Yogi Adityanath government in UP and the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

Highlighting the rising cases of rape in UP, Jayant said that in 2019 there were 3065 cases of rape which had been registered in the state. But the government has failed to give justice to the victims, he said, adding that “instead every possible method is adopted to silence voices raised against it, including the voices from the Opposition“.

“I am also father of daughters, so how could I sit quite at home when daughter of a poor was subjected to such atrocities,” the RLD leader said, blaming the Yogi government for “silencing dissent”.

Referring to the Centre’s controversial farm laws, Jayant said that these have been brought only to benefit corporates and that “farmers will become slaves of these corporates in next five years“. While appreciating the farmers of Haryana and Punjab for fighting collectively against these legislations of the Modi government, Jayant appealed to farmers of west UP to come forward and join the fight against these “anti-farmer laws”.

Congress MLA from Haryana, Abhay Chautala, Congress MP Dependra Hudda, former MP Harendra Malik, and SP leader Dharmendra Yadav also addressed the rally. The leaders attacked the BJP governments and appealed to farmers to unite and fight back against farm laws and atrocities against the poor. They also paid their homage to former PM and farmer leader late Chaudhary Charan Singh.

Heavy security arrangements were made in the town for the rally. ADG of Meerut zone, Rajeev Sabbharwal, along with commissioner of Saharanpur division, Sanjay Kumar, camped in Muzaffarnagar to keep a close watch on the situation.