Interview: Farmers’ protest will intensify if talks fail, says Rakesh Tikait

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Rakesh Tikait also refuted claims that he’s not actively seen in the ongoing protest by the farmers.

Rakesh Tikait, Bharat Kisan Union leader

Rakesh Tikait, Bharat Kisan Union leader

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National spokesperson of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Rakesh Tikait in an interview with Bhawna Malik asserted that the farmers would hold grounds until their demands are met by the Central government. Rakesh Tikait also refuted claims that he’s not actively seen in the ongoing protest by the farmers.

Qn.  Rakesh Tikait as a key face is missing in the ‘Kisan 2.0’ protest; why? Is there an internal rift amongst various farmer groups?

Tikait: I am very much part of the protest. There is no rift among farmers. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha is a coalition of 40-42 Indian farmer unions and in Punjab alone there are 40 to 45 groups. This time a particular ‘jathebandi or a group’ in Punjab has taken this call to organise the march to Delhi.

Qn. If you are a part of the protest then how do you explain your absence from the three rounds of talks between the Government and the farmers?

Tikait: The group (Sarwan Singh Pandher and Dallewal) which started this agitation will be making the key decisions and only they will participate in the meetings. But SKM is not far from the farmers nor their issues. The Bharat Bandh call was taken by the SKM only.

Qn. Bharat Bandh was successful in Punjab, but in Delhi it had no impact. Your take on this?

Tikait: Bharat is not in Delhi. It lies in the villages and there it was a success. From 17th February, the farmers from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan will join the protest. In March, we are planning something big in Chandigarh that would be disclosed later.

Qn. Delhi NCR borders are fully barricaded with tight security; how will farmers from other states enter Delhi?

Tikait: We are having regular meetings, offline too. The farmers will protest in their respective states or near borders as they are doing in Shambhu border.

Qn. Do you think that Haryana Government has misjudged and mishandled the farmers at the Shambhu Border?

Tikait: The atrocities of the Haryana Police on the farmers are shameful.  It is injustice with the farmers. Farmers are not terrorists and it’s their right to protest. The use of rubber bullets and water cannons is not proper. The farmers have been injured, even journalists have been hurt.

Qn. Police claims that farmers too have indulged in stone pelting and have broken barriers by the police?

Tikait: The farmers never indulge in violence. Using drones and dropping water shells on the farmers is improper on the part of the police.  The three tiers barricading by the police is itself a proof what instructions the police have been given.

Qn. The Minimum Support Price (MSP) is given in Punjab, then why the farmers are demanding it again?

Tikait: We want that MSP as a guarantee be ensured through a law which should be enacted by parliament. Farmers in each state should get it. 

Q. What would be your next move after ‘Rail Roko and Bharat Bandh’?

Tikait . On 17TH February, we have a meeting with all leaders of SKM. The protest will intensify in the coming days. In different states it will be planned accordingly.

Q. The Government says that the law on the MSP will cause additional financial burden. How do you counter that?

Tikait: It is ‘Poonjiwadi ki sarkar’. When corporates take loans and run away then government is not burdened. It’s only on the farmer issue that government gives the alibi of additional burden. Which big company or a corporate house staged a dharna for funds?

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1 thought on “Interview: Farmers’ protest will intensify if talks fail, says Rakesh Tikait

  1. Bhawna Malik has written very well on the farmer’s protest, a viewpoint of farmer leader Sh. Rakesh Tikait. who explains the ground situation of the famers and his stand on this issue. Nodoubt farmers issue is importnat in this country and the govenment should take note of their genuine demands and solve them amicably so as to avoid further conflict. Thanks again Bhawna for this article.

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