Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Naresh Tikait has expressed regret over his statement extending support to Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal (SP-RLD) alliance in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2022. After making an appeal to support the SP-RLD alliance’s candidates in their respective constituencies, Tikait said that Kisan Samyukt Morcha is supreme and he shouldn’t have made such statements.
“I said something that I shouldn’t have. Kisan Samyukt Morcha is supreme and I’m not above it. If any candidate comes here, I will give my blessings but no one should seek endorsement,” Tikait said.
“BJP candidates are not our enemy, anyone can visit and seek my blessings but no one should seek endorsement,” he added.
On January 14, Tikait blessed the RLD candidates from Budhana and Meerapur seats of Muzaffarnagar at the BKU headquarters in Sisauli village. “Wherever there are candidates of the (SP-RLD) alliance, make them win,” he can be heard saying in a video of the gathering he addressed.
The SP-RLD alliance has so far announced 36 candidates for the UP polls of which 26 are from Rashtriya Lok Dal and 10 from Samajwadi Party.
Interestingly, BKU president’s U-turn on his statement came soon after his meeting with Union minister and BJP MP Sajeev Balyan who visited the former at his residence. The meeting and Tikait’s reversal on his statement has raised speculations that Naresh Tikait might support the BJP in the upcoming assembly polls.
Responding about the meeting, Naresh Tikait said on a TV channel, “Sanjeev Balyan is a family man, everyone has the right to come here. Be it the leader of any party, everyone has a home. People have been coming here to seek blessings since the time of Tikait sahib.”
BKU spokesperson and Naresh Tikait’s brother Rakesh Tikait also denied claims of the former supporting the SP-RLD alliance. “We haven’t given any support yet and we will confirm the same with our official social media account soon. Leaders of different parties are reaching the village, so everyone is being told that you should contest the elections,” he said.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), a consortium of 40-odd farmers’ organisations, has announced that Rakesh Tikait will visit Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri for 3-4 days from January 21 to press for the sacking of Union Minister Ajay Mishra whose son is accused of mowing down protesting farmers last year.
Tikait brothers, particularly Rakesh Tikait, spearheaded the year-long protest against the Centre’s three contentious farm laws, which have now been repealed by the government.