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Rakesh Tikait at Mahapanchayat: Protests Shall Continue, PM Trying To Create Rift Among Farmers

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina
Rakesh Tikait at Mahapanchayat

BKU leader Rakesh Tikait accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of attempting to create a rift among farmers on Monday, reiterating the farmers' resolve to continue their agitation. 

"It took us a year to persuade them (the government) that the laws you enacted are terrible for impoverished farmers, labourers, and others. We said things in our own language, whereas those in Delhi bungalows spoke in a different language... They chose to repeal the legislation, but they sought to split farmers by claiming that they failed to educate certain farmers about the laws," Tikait said at a kisan mahapanchayat in Lucknow, alluding to Modi's apologies while announcing the decision on Friday. 

Farmers from Punjab and Haryana also attended the mahapanchayat organised by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM). 

"The government needs to look at a lot more agricultural concerns," Tikait added, citing the desire for a law guaranteeing a minimum support price (MSP). Our struggle will go on because our concerns go beyond the removal of the three farm laws.

To fix these issues, the government should speak with us. There's no way we're leaving. We'll have gatherings around the country to raise awareness," he stated. 

Tikait believes the PM should respond to the MSP demand that he supported as Gujarat Chief Minister in 2011. He said Modi was a part of a committee that suggested to then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that MSP be guaranteed by law. "This committee's report is kept at the PMO." A new committee is unnecessary... Tikait responded, "You execute your own committee report." 

He also called for the dismissal of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra, whose son was arrested in connection with the deaths of four farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri. 

"We have many concerns," Tikait said, "including the matter of the farmers who died during the agitation." 

SKM's demands include the dismissal of cases against farmers, the construction of a memorial for protestors who died during the agitation, and the repeal of the Electricity Amendment Bill. 

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