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Tikait to Govt: Be serious about talks on farm laws

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Wednesday asked the Union government to send a representative who had the power to resolve issues concerning the farm laws
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 11:29 PM IST

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Wednesday asked the Union government to send a representative who had the power to resolve issues concerning the farm laws.

This came a day after his elder brother and BKU president Naresh Tikait suggested that Union defence minister Rajnath Singh could end the stalemate between farmers and the government.

Thousands of farmers are camping at UP Gate and other borders near the national capital demanding the repeal of the three farm laws, and a new law on minimum support price (MSP). Tikait, who is spearheading the farmers’ protest at UP Gate, said at a rally in Sikar in Rajasthan on Tuesday that a call will be given for going to the Parliament on a date chosen by the ‘Samyukt Kisan Morcha’ (SKM) which is body of farmers’ unions leaders at Singhu border.

He also said that about 4 million tractors will also participate from across the country.

Tikait returned to UP Gate on Wednesday and reiterated his stand over the call for going to the Parliament and said that any date for it should be given by the SKM. Over the issue of ending stalemate and statements made by Naresh Tikait about Rajnath Singh, Rakesh Tikait said that it could be “anyone” from the government who should engage in talks with the farmers.

“We mean to say that it could be anyone that government can send for talks, but they should be given full-fledged powers. They are sending their ministers for talks, but they don’t come with full powers and their powers seem curtailed. Otherwise, they would have resolved our issues by now. We still demand repeal of three farm laws, a new law on MSP,” Tikait told reporters at UP-Gate on Wednesday.

“We have not been approached for any talks as of now,” Tikait added.

The last talks between the farmers’ union leaders and the government were held on January 22 and thereafter no talks could be scheduled.

His brother Naresh Tikait on Tuesday at UP Gate said that Union Minister Rajnath Singh was a good man and had been a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh who understands issues of farmers and can help resolve the stalemate.

Rakesh Tikait on the other hand is holding rallies in the National Capital Region and garnering support of farmers, khaps and common man. In his rallies he has maintained that he is looking after consolidating the agitation while the government should hold talks with the SKM over the issue of rollback of farm laws and a new law on MSP.

Ever since the protests started in end of November 2020, the farmer leaders so far have not budged and reiterating their demands. The government also put forward a proposal in which they proposed that they were ready to hold the implementation of the three farm laws for a period of one and half years.

However, the farmer leaders did not accept the proposal.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar responded to Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait’s call for a second tractor march to Delhi.

Tomar said that the government is ready to discuss the demands of the farmers and is committed to the welfare of the farmers.

“The government of India is committed to double farmers’ income and work towards agriculture’s welfare. Discussions have been held many times. If they have a point to raise even now, we are ready to discuss,” Tomar told reporters in Delhi.

At UP Gate, Rakesh Tikait, before leaving for another Panchayat at Agra on Wednesday, further suggested that vacant parks near the Parliament could be given for farming for crops.

“They should form a Parliamentary committee and it should observe farming of crop in the parks near the Parliament and even sell it in market. With this, they will be able to assess if there is any loss or profit in farming,” Tikait said.

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