Farmers' protest will go on for 8 more months, says BKU’s Rakesh Tikait
The movement will pick up speed after May 10, as till then farmers will remain engaged in harvesting wheat crops, Tikait said.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said on Thursday the agitation against the Centre’s three new farm laws will have to go on for eight more months as it is a question of their rights and lands. The movement will pick up speed after May 10, as till then farmers will remain engaged in harvesting wheat crops, Tikait said.
“Farmers can harvest their wheat crops till May 10 post which the agitation will pick up speed,” Tikait was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Farmers have been camping at several border points in Delhi for more than four months, seeking a repeal of the laws-- Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 -- which were cleared by Parliament in September last year.
Despite several rounds of negotiation and repeated requests by the government, the farmers have remained determined that they would not stop protesting until the laws are completely rolled back and are also firm on their demand for a legal guarantee for the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) general secretary Hannan Mollah told ANI on Wednesday that lakhs of protesters would march to Parliament in May. “Modi Government and Parliament are not listening to the farmers then it is our right to go in front of Parliament and raise our demand and we will decide sometime between the middle in the month of May,” he said. Pointing out that the march would be peaceful, he added that they (farmers) will go to Parliament to express their pain and grief before the citizens.
Several strikes and marches have been staged by farmers across India since last year and the majority of them were peaceful. However, the farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day ( January 26) in Delhi took a violent turn as protesters deviated from the designated route and entered the national Capital after breaking barricades and were also involved in incidents of vandalism. A few protesters reached the iconic Red Fort and hoisted religious flags on it. The Delhi Police has made multiple arrests in the case.
In January, the Supreme Court suspended the implementation of the farm laws and appointed a committee on January 12 to examine these laws and further recommend changes. The committee on Wednesday submitted its report and the apex court will hear the matter on April 5. Speaking to Hindustan Times, one of the expert members in the committee Anil Ghanwat said that it is entirely up to the apex court to act on the recommendations given.