No plan to visit West Bengal before April 3, says Rakesh Tikait
Ghaziabad: Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Naresh Tikait on Thursday said that he will not be going to poll-bound West Bengal anytime soon as he has programs lined up till April 3 in states like Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Odisha. “There are programs and rallies lined up till April 3 and thereafter we will go to West Bengal. Ours is an issue of farmers and we have no issues with elections. But we will go there and tell people about the performance of the government,” he said adding that the ongoing farmers’ agitation has turned into a jan andolan.
Tikait had said that some people will go to West Bengal on March 15-16.
On Thursday, he termed the Parliament “nayi mandi” (new market), telling farmers that this is so because prices and laws for crops are decided at the Parliament. During his earlier rallies in Haryana and Rajasthan, he had urged farmers to go to Parliament along with their tractors.
Farmers’ protest at different borders of Delhi will complete 100 days on March 6 but no talks have been held between the farm union leaders and the government since late January. Tikait has been trying to garner support from farmers in different neighbouring states like Haryana and Rajasthan, telling them that they should be ready with their tractors to go to Delhi.
“It is so because farmers do not get a good price for their crops and their situation will be subdued till the government brings in a law on minimum support price (MSP). I told them that they should learn agitation at home and should learn how to break barricades. We said that a new mandi has been opened at the Parliament as it is the place where the rate of crops and laws for them are decided. Even the Prime Minister says that farmers can sell their crops anywhere in the country,” Tikait said.
“So, farmers should keep five quintals of ration in their tractor-trolleys and proceed to Delhi. If anyone tries to stop them midway, they should purchase that person’s crop on MSP. Otherwise, the crop will surely be purchased on MSP at the nayi mandi. If anyone stops them midway, they should put up tents and stage protest. This agitation will continue, and farmers will win before they go away from here,” he added.
Over the issue of stalemate in talks with the government, Tikait said that it could be possible that the government was trying to see the results of the assembly elections in five poll-bound states and probably the results of panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh.
“It may be possible that they are trying to gauge the effect of agitation on election or not. Thereafter they may talk to us, but we don’t know much as the government is a big entity,” he added.
Detailing jan andolan, he said that people are facing issues of rise in prices, hike in fuel and even prices of LPG cylinders.
“People are getting affected, and this agitation has turned into a jan andolan. The day is not far when women will also step out due to price rise,” he added.
The farmers at UP Gate have been camping at the site since November 28, 2020, demanding repeal of the three new farm laws and demanding a new law on MSP.