Rakesh Tikait hit out at the government, saying it was not willing to talk to the farmers. “We will surely talk to them whenever they are willing to,” he said.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Monday said that a resolution to the continuing stalemate between the farmers and Centre will not happen in the court, but only through a settlement with the government.
Addressing the 11th Bharatiya Chhatra Sansad, Tikait hit out at the government, saying it was not willing to talk to the farmers. “Today the country witnessed Bharat Band. I feel the government is making senseless amendments in the laws and policies. The government wants to sell the valuable resources of the country, they want to sell the lands. It is high time for the youth to step out of their homes and join the revolution. I feel this will strengthen the revolution immensely. If the government continues to dismantle the resources, one day India will be known as ‘Mazdoor colony’ as there will only be a labour class in the country. The protest will get over only with a mutual understanding with the Government and not with the intervention of court. The government has illegally occupied the land of the country. We are absolutely against privatization and we will sit as long as this bill is taken back. ‘Roti bhook mitane ke liye hai, privatisation ke liye nahi (Roti is meant to fulfil hunger, not for privatisation),” he said.
Criticising the Centre’s three contentious farm laws, the BKU leader said that the government was selling the country’s properties, including agricultural land, railways and ports and urged the youth to join the farmers’ movement.
The remarks came on a day when the protesting farmers, under the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, observed a nationwide strike, which was supported by several non-NDA opposition parties.
The farmers have been protesting against the three farm laws for almost a year and have been staying put on Delhi’s borders with Punjab and Haryana. The farmers fear that the new system will leave them at the mercy of big agribusiness companies and also destroy the MSP system. On the other hand, the Centre has contended that the new laws will bring a revolution in India’s agriculture sector and provide farmers with better opportunities and better prices on their produce.
Eleven rounds of talks have already been held between the Centre and farm unions, but no common ground has been reached with the farmers refusing to budge from their demand to repeal the farm laws. During the tenth round of talks, the government offered to put on hold the farm laws for a year or two, and even agreed to two of the demands put forth by the farm unions.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had formulated a three-member committee to review the farm laws and find an amicable solution to the standoff. However, the farmers have insisted that the issue be settled with the government, and not in court.
Recently, the protests have seen a fresh vigour, focused in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab as the three states are scheduled to go to polls in less than six months from now.
Jai Kisan Morcha founder Yogendra Yadav, in a recent interview with FinancialExpress.com, said their strategy was to pressurise the government by catalysing the protests in poll-bound states. He also said that they wanted the protests to make an impact on the poll results.