Don’t vote for BJP: Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait in Nandigram

Rakesh Tikait, one of the faces of ongoing farmers’ agitation against Narendra Modi government’s new farm laws, held ‘Mahapanchayat’ ahead of the West Bengal elections in the key battleground Nandigram.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Tikait has appealed to people to not support the saffron party until and unless they repeal the farm laws.

“If they (BJP) come to you seeking votes, ask them: when will we get our MSP (minimum support price),” he said.

Thousands of farmers, especially from Punjab and Haryana, are staging a sit-in protest along Delhi borders. The protest started on November 26, 2020. The farmers are demanding a complete rollback of the new farm reform laws and a guarantee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system being retained. Multiple rounds of talks between the Centre and the farmers’ union leaders have ended in a stalemate. Protesting farmers fear that the new laws will dismantle the MSP system and corporatise farming.

Calling the attack on West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee unfortunate, Tikait said he will travel across Bengal to campaign against the BJP.

Banerjee has filed her poll nomination from the assembly seat and will take on BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari.

Drawing parallels between the East India Company and the BJP, he said that the government is currently being run by dacoits and robbers.

He added if the government was of any political party they would have definitely engaged with the farmers and accommodated their requests.

Tikait was welcomed in Kolkata by Trinamool MP Dola Sen today.

The eight-phased Bengal assembly election will begin on March 27. Counting will take place on May 2.