‘Farmer leader’ Rakesh Tikait has again threatened the central government demanding the repeal of the three farm laws. Speaking at farmer meetings in Churu and Sikar Rajasthan yesterday, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader threatened to siege the Parliament if the central government does not repeal the farm laws.
Our next call will be for a march to Parliament, and not just 4 lakh tractors but 40 lakh tractors will go there if farm laws are not taken back: BKU leader Rakesh Tikat at a farmers rally in Sikar, Rajasthan yesterday pic.twitter.com/OCQE9GxsQr— ANI (@ANI) February 24, 2021
Tikait said that the ‘farmers’ would march towards Delhi with 40 lakh tractors instead of 4 lakh tractors that had participated in the tractor rally on Republic Day. He reportedly said that the government was not ready to listen to the farmers and that it had decided to rob the farmers. Tikait accused the government of conniving with businessmen. He alleged that corporates had already prepared warehouses even before the farm laws were enacted. He said that the farm laws did not provide for the minimum support price (MSP) and that corporates would store the produce bought from farmers in their warehouse and would sell them at higher prices. Tikait urged the farmers in Rajasthan to unite in protest against the farm laws by rising above caste lines. He asked the youth to participate in the agitation.
Republic Day tractor rally had led to riots in Delhi
It is pertinent to note here that the farmers’ leaders had organised a tractor rally in Delhi on Republic Day that had culminated into violence. They had assured that the rally would be a peaceful protest and would be limited to the designated routes. However, what transpired on the Republic Day was far from peaceful. Several armed protestors entered the national capital attacking the security personnel and vandalising the public property. Some protestors entered into the Red Fort and insulted the national flag and hoisted religious flags atop the Red Fort that were believed to be Khalistani flags. Hundreds of police personnel were injured during the riots. It was revealed later, that several separatist, anti-India organisations like banned Khalistani outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) were behind the Republic Day riots.
An investigation has ben initiated by Delhi police into the Republic Day violence and around 38 FIRs have been lodged with over 100 accused having been arrested in relation to the violence.
Central government held several rounds of talks with ‘farmer representatives’
The central government had been proposing to solve the farmers’ issues through dialogue. Several rounds of talks have been held between the farmers’ representatives and the government since the protests started. However, the talks ended in a deadlock as the farmers’ leaders were adamant on total repeal of the laws despite the government agreeing to make specific amendments in the laws. Prior to the havoc played by the protestors during the tractor rally on the Republic Day, the protesting farmers had been blocking major routes near the national capital for months.