Will farmer leaders contest upcoming assembly polls? A hint from Rakesh Tikait
Rakesh Tikait, who has been leading the farmers' agitation, hinted that farmer leaders may contest the upcoming elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Tikait and his Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) has been protesting near the borders of national capital Delhi for more than eight months against the three farm laws passed by Parliament in September last year.
Tikait spoke to Aaj Tak where he said that a meeting is scheduled to be held in Muzaffarnagar in September where the next course of action will be decided. The meeting in the form of a maha panchayat will see participation from farmers from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
"Is fighting election a wrong thing? Those who cast vote can also decide to contest election," the farmer leader told Aaj Tak.
Tikait has been sitting with the farmers at Delhi border since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm 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.
He has met many politicians during this period to gain support for the movement. Despite multiple rounds of talks with the government, the protests are continuing. The government has made it clear that it won't repeal the three laws and wants the farmer organisations to find a solution through dialogues, the protesters have said that they won't end their agitation till the farm laws are scrapped.
The leaders have announced plans to intensify their agitation. Last week, Tikait said that from July 22 onwards, 200 people will hold protests near Parliament, in view of the ongoing farmers' protests.
"If the Centre wants discussion on farm laws, we're ready for talks. But, if talks do not happen or reap fruitful results, then from July 22 onwards, 200 of our people will hold protests near Parliament," he told news agency ANI.
The BKU leader said that talks should be held without conditions.