Farmers’ stir may continue till December, says Rakesh Tikait

After his Bengal visit, the BKU leader says he plans to visit more States.

The Bhartiya Kisan Union-led farmer agitation against the three central farm laws may continue till December this year, the outfit’s national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said in Allahabad on Sunday.

Mr. Tikait made the statement while talking to reporters in Allahabad after his recent visit to the poll-bound West Bengal.

“This agitation possibly will stretch up to November or December this year,” he said.

Talking about his West Bengal visit, Mr. Tikait said during poll campaigning there, the central government people have been asking farmers to give them one feastful of rice.

“I have advised Bengal farmers to ask grain seekers to fix an MSP of ₹1,850 per quintal for paddy before giving them a single grain of rice,” Mr. Tikait told reporters.

He said after Bengal, he was planning to visit other parts of the country to press for the enactment of a law guaranteeing an MSP for various crops.

“In Bihar, the paddy is currently being bought by traders at an abysmally low rate of ₹750 to ₹800 per quintal. I want a law guaranteeing the minimum support price for various crops,” Mr. Tikait said.

He said he was not going to sit in Delhi alone but was planning to visit all over the country, including Madhya Pradesh on March 14 and 15, Ganga Nagar in Rajasthan on March 17, Ghazipur’s U.P. Gate border in Delhi on March 18, Odisha on March 19 and Karnataka on March 21 and 22.

During his visit in Allahabad, Mr. Tikait also garlanded a statue of his late father and farmer leader Mahendra Singh Tikait at Tikait Park in Jhalwa.

The BKU spokesperson claimed the three central laws will lead to the closure of all small-time neighbourhood shops, leaving only big commercial malls to survive.

“These farm laws will ruin traders and lead to the closure of small business utilities and the collapse of small industries. These laws will bring in big multinational firms like Wallmart," claimed Mr. Tikait.

“Had this government belonged to a political party, it would have talked to farmers and resolved the matter,” Mr. Tikait said.

“But this government is being run by big business houses. It is bent upon selling the entire country,” he alleged.

‘Businessmen running government’

Mr. Tikait said the Union government was being run by businessman who were cashing in on hunger by snatching away land.

"A new business to cash in on hunger has started.

Humans get hungry two times a day, 700 times a year. When the food grains will be in their control, they will start the hunger business," Mr. Tikait said.

He said in places in Rajasthan and Haryana, land was being bought by businessmen for paltry sums, and massive godowns, with storage capacities of 14 lakh metric tons, had come up, after which the Centre’s new farm laws came in.

"This means this government at the Centre is not run by a party, but by businessmen. It is not only farmers who are in trouble, the railways are being sold, but the opposition is weak, and young people who should have opposed such moves are sleeping," Mr. Tikait claimed.

He asked people to come out and protest at the district level to get the new laws repealed, adding that farmers must sit at the collectorate and ensure their wheat is sold at ₹1,975 per quintal.

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