Rakesh Tikait, Farmer, protester, laws, MSP, BKU

Will remain at Delhi borders till Oct 2, no compromise on demands: Tikait

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait on Saturday said the protesters demanding the rollback of the contentious agri-marketing laws on Delhi’s outskirts will stay put till October 2 and there will not be any compromise on the demands.
Farmers will return home only after the government repeals the contentious legislations and make a law ensuring legal guarantee for the minimum support price (MSP), the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader said.
‘We will sit here till October 2,’ he added.
‘If the government is understanding this, then talk to farmers. Make a law on the MSP, take back the three laws, only then will farmers return to their homes,’ said Tikait, who is camping with his supporters on a stretch of the Delhi-Meerut highway since late November.
Interacting with the press, he claimed a few inputs had been received regarding some miscreants “trying to disrupt peace” during the ‘chakka jam’ that was announced for 12 pm to 3 pm on Saturday.
“Because of these inputs, we had decided to call off the ‘chakka jam’ in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand,” the 51-year-old Tikait, credited with reviving the farmers’ stir, said.
He also urged farmers to ensure support to the movement. Neither let the numbers go down at the protest sites, nor overcrowd these, he said.
‘Don’t be in any illusion. Neither the platforms nor the leaders of the protest will change. They will sow iron nails, we will sow crops,’ he added.
‘Hum hi kisan hain, hum hi jawan hain (We are the farmers and we are the soldiers. This is going to be our slogan for the movement,’ he said.
Tikait urged farmers joining the protest at Delhi borders to bring a fistful of soil from their farmland and take back a similar amount of ‘mitti’ of the revolution from the protest sites.
‘Go and spread this revolutionary soil in your farms and traders will never look at your farmlands (to usurp it),’ Tikait said.
‘This movement will continue for a year. It’s an open offer and proposal to the government. A law on MSP will have to be made, without that we won’t go back home. Three laws will be taken back. Both these demands have to be met and there will not be any compromise on that. There cannot be a bigger movement. We cannot quit the protest, nor are we leaving the government,’ he said.
‘If the laws are not made now, then it won’t happen ever. Farmers of the country have been looted at half rates. MSP prices are given in Punjab and Haryana but not across the country. This (protest) is for the whole country. They will try to divide us, saying it’s a movement of one state. But that it is not. It’s a pan-India movement,’ he added.
The BKU leader appealed to farmers not to get involved in contract farming.
‘Your land will provide you employment. Do not be misguided that businessmen will provide you jobs. They will usurp you land. They will take your land for contract farming at hiked rates but do not lease it to them. Don’t give your land,’ he said.
Tikait said protests will be held at police stations in the areas where notices are being served on people who participated in the stir. “Those joining farmers protest are getting police notices. But those who joined violence in Ayodhya were not sent any notice. How many people were there? Who take guarantee for that and why was the mob not stopped there,’ he said.
Amid a stringent security set up installed around the Ghazipur protest site, the farmer leader, flanked by his supporters, also interacted with Delhi Police officials.
“Nobody can touch the farmlands, the farmers will protect it. Both farmers and soldiers should come forward for it,” Tikait said.
Interacting with security personnel who were on the other side of the barricading, he said, bowing his head and folded hands, “My pranaam (a respectful salutation) to you all. Now you all will protect my farms.” Besides Ghazipur, thousands of farmers are encamping at Tikri and Singhu border points of Delhi since November with a demand that the Centre repeal the three contentious agri-marketing laws, saying these would hurt their livelihood. However, the Centre, which has held 11 rounds of formal talks with the protesting groups, has maintained that the laws are pro-farmer.