Lucknow: "This is my appeal to farmers of Uttar Pradesh that they should continue to work in their fields but also keep an eye on their tractors with tanks full of fuel as they may have to come to Delhi any time," Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait told farmers on Sunday while addressing the 'mahapanchayat' at Lakhnaur in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.
Amid the ongoing farmers' protest at Delhi borders against the three central agricultural laws, this was the first time after his January 28 outburst that Tikait was addressing a mahapanchayat in Western Uttar Pradesh where scores of farmers from the sugarcane belt came. "Farmers are being conveyed to be ready to leave for Delhi once a call is given. Get your tractors filled with fuel,” he said.
The BKU leader further questioned the 'silence' of the central government over the farm laws, claiming that the Centre was attempting to 'lock their grains' inside a locker and unleash a 'business of hunger'. "They (Centre) formulate laws without taking farmers into confidence or consulting farmer leaders and then ask us to point out the shortcomings. When the entire laws are black then they should be taken back. The government want to lock grains inside a locker, and want to do business on hunger in the country -- that will not happen," the farmer leader said.
"It is necessary to hold mahapanchayats across the country because this is the problem of the entire nation and people in rural areas are being connected through it. Dharna will also continue alongside these mahapanchayats. As of now, we have planned programs till March 24. We will travel across the country," Tikait said. Along with the western part of the state, the mahapanchayats in Eastern UP received good response.
Talking about the roadmap of the protest, Tikait said political parties would not change the fortune of the farmer, instead non-political organisations would alleviate the plight of the farmers. “Corporates are running the government. Had it been vice versa, a solution would have been possible. The fact is that neither the government wants to take back farm laws nor does it want to come up with a law on Minimum Support Price (MSP),” he said.
BKU THREATENS TO GHERAO PARLIAMENT
Tikait warned the Centre of a march to the Parliament if the government did not scrap the three agriculture laws against which farmers have been protesting on several borders of Delhi for nearly three months. He said the outfit would soon announce the date and roadmap for the march towards Delhi. "This time 40 lakh tractors will be there instead of four lakh tractors. Once sugarcane and wheat harvest is over, farmers will reach the protest sites in larger numbers,” he said.
Asking the youth to be prepared for a ‘hal kranti’ (plough revolution), he said, "You are the backbone of the movement and played an important role from day one to mobilise people for the protest. You will remove the hurdles that the government has put in the farmers’ path,” Tikait said.
The BKU also released the list of a series of mahapanchayats to be held from February 28 to March 22 in various parts of the country. BKU leader Rakesh Tikait will be attending all the mahapanchayats. The farmers have announced the series of this gatherings with an aim to intensify their agitation against the contentious farm laws.
The mahapanchayats being held in different parts of Uttar Pradesh are playing an important role in strengthening the ongoing farmers' movement in rural areas.