Tikait’s new target: Associating 40L tractors with farmers’ stir


Encouraged by the overwhelming attendance in Kisan Mahapanchayats, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait Tuesday announced a plan to associate 40 lakh tractors with the ongoing agitation. He stated that more than 3.5 lakh tractors have already become part of the stir.

Tikait was addressing a Kisan Mahapanchayat at village Gumthla in Kurukshetra district. Over the past few days, Kisan Mahapanchayats have drawn massive turn out of farmers in different parts of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh while Punjab is already witnessing an intense farm stir.

“The way meetings are taking place in Haryana, our next target will be Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu,” said Tikait. Haryana BKU leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni too had gone to Rajasthan Monday to address a Kisan Panchayat there.

“They (BJP) say the agitation is taking place (only) in Punjab and Haryana. But even in Karnataka, as many as 10,000 tractors are part of the agitation. Our next target is to associate 40 lakh tractors with the agitation. Till now 3.5-4 lakh tractors have become part of the agitation (in the country),” said Tikait.

Urging farmers to be ready for a long battle even as thousands of farmers are already camping at Delhi borders for the past 77 days, Tikait said, “We have given time to the government till October 2 (to accept our demands). You (farmers) should make plans (for more participation) because as of now gathering (at Delhi borders) is less.”

According to the farmer leader, as many as 3.5 lakh tractors were taken to Delhi on January 26 to be part of the “tractor parade”.

He said they were supposed to return to their homes after attending the “tractor parade” but still it was speculated then the farmers from borders were returning to their homes. “In reality, the farmers from borders were not returning but those 3.5 lakh tractors were returning which had gone to Delhi (for the tractor parade only),” said Tikait.

“If the government wants to hold talks with farmer leaders, it has to opt the same course of action which was opted earlier. The government should not think that farmers will return to their homes. Farmer’s one foot will be in home and his field and another in the agitation. He will go to the field for ten days and will spend five days for agitation.”

Urging the farmers to opt rotation system to go to Delhi borders, he said, “Everybody who goes to Delhi in his tractor should make a plan to stay there for five to eight days.”

Tikait also alleged the youths were taken to the Red Fort on January 26 (as part of a conspiracy). The farmer leaders have been alleging a conspiracy behind the Red Fort incident claiming they believe in peace and discipline. In support of his claim, Tikait gave example of the farmer agitation led by his father Chaudhary Mahendra Singh Tikait at Boat Club in New Delhi in 1988 adding nobody from the protesters had moved to Parliament House even as it was just one kilometre away from Boat Club.

“There were 5-6 lakh farmers. Did anybody go to Parliament from Boat Club? Nobody,” he said.

Anticipating attempts will be made to divide the agitating farmers on the lines of Punjab-Haryana, Sikh-non Sikhs, Hindu-Muslims, the farmer leader said, “For the past two days, they have opted a new tactic of “small and big farmers” stating it is an agitation of big farmers, who come in tractors, not of small farmers. But we are small farmers. We use a tractor for 15-20 years. We use an old tractor too for our livelihood. What type of big farmers are they talking about?” he said. The farmer leader alleged that farmers were under debt because of the wrong policies of successive governments while comparing hike in the MSP of crops and salary of MPs and MLAs.

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