Though Rakesh Tikait, the leader of the ‘apolitical farmers protest’ has repeatedly declared to keep the agitation off-limits for political parties, he himself has been regularly seen departing from this strategy. Tikait, who has been continuously describing his platform as completely non-political, was on Friday spotted with several Congress leaders in Jodhpur.
On March 12, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait was in Kharia Khangar in Bhopalgarh subdivision in Jodhpur, as part of his ‘Mahapanchayat’ rally, a five-state tour being executed by Tikait to drum up support for the farmers’ protest, when he was welcomed by scores of Congress leaders, including former Congress MP Badriram Jakhar, former district chief Munnidevi Godara, former deputy district chief Hiralal Mundel, former RAJSICO President Sunil Parihar, former municipality chief Babulal Tak, Ranaram Nain, VP Singh Kud, district Rajlani’s Sarpanch and Congress member Paras Gurjar, etc.
The BKU leader was not only seen leading a gathering of Congress leaders but was also seen riding a tractor that bore a Congress party banner welcoming Tikait to Jodhpur.
The poster had senior Congress leader and former MP Badriram Jakhar’s name written on it. After the picture of Rakesh Tikait riding the ‘Congress tractor’ went viral on the microblogging site, social media users called out Tikait for his deception and double standards.
#FarmersProtestHijacked Rakesh Tikait, who repeatedly describes his platform as completely non-political, seen with senior Congressman & former MP Badriram Jakhar leading a gathering of Congress leaders for the Kisan Mahapanchayat.— Priti Gandhi – प्रीति गांधी (@MrsGandhi) March 13, 2021
These are NOT farmers, these are politicians! pic.twitter.com/pE3p8G2jzP
Tikait, of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, has five rallies planned in Rajasthan in this month. It is evident that through these farmers’ meetings Tikait is actually trying to build up his own political base.
Earlier today, Rakesh Tikait reached Kolkata airport where he was received by TMC’s Dola Sen in poll-bound West Bengal. Here too, Tikait was seen spending time with various TMC leaders and appealing to people to vote against the Bharatiya Janata Party in the upcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal. According to reports, Tikait and other ‘farmer leaders’ are also slated to visit Nandigram on Saturday evening, while they will go to Singur and Asansol on Sunday.
What becomes extremely apparent here is that Rakesh Tikait, who was a forgotten man until the current protests were launched, has only been using the ongoing farmer’s agitation as a tool to, resurrect his political career, even if, in the process, he had to mastermind farmer tractor rally that led to an insurrection on 26th January, he had no qualms in doing so.