Amidst the alarming surge of COVID-19 cases in Delhi, BKU spokesperson and self-proclaimed ‘farmers’ leader Rakesh Tikait held the central government responsible if farmers protesting at the borders of the national capitals are infected with the coronavirus. Even as Delhi is under a strict 6-day lockdown, Tikait insisted that it cannot be a reason to put the ‘farmers’ protest on hold.
Tikait, who has gotten vaccinated himself, said that it is the central government’s responsibility that farmers protesting along the Delhi borders do not contract the coronavirus.
Speaking with Republic Media Network, Tikait said, “Responsibility lies solely with the government if the farmers get infected with the virus. When the COVID-19 cases are rising across the country, who is responsible for it? Are farmers responsible for that too?”
He further added, “If there is a disease, then the government should ensure treatment for it and build hospitals for it. Politicians are collecting funds for other purposes. They are conducting rallies and contesting elections.”
A couple of days ago, while on his visit to Jammu, Rakesh Tikait had asserted that the ‘farmers’ agitation was not Shaheen Bagh that can be ended in the name of coronavirus.
It is worth noting that Rakesh Tikait, who is spearheading the ‘farmers’ protests and insisting that the protests should not stop because of the coronavirus outbreak, has himself got vaccinated at a hospital near the Delhi-UP border on Tuesday. Tikait took the first dose of coronavirus vaccine at a hospital situated near the Ghazipur border protest site on April 13.
While the national capital went under a 6-day lockdown, Tikait asserts that farmers, many of whom may not have got vaccinated, persist with their protests along the border, even if that means exposing themselves to the coronavirus that is spreading at an alarming rate, especially in Delhi.
In the meantime, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), a Punjab-based farmers group that had demanded the release of suspects in both the Elgar Parishad case and the Delhi riots case, has announced a march to Delhi on April 21 in order to protest against the Farm laws. This march comes at a time when Delhi is going through a surge in Coronavirus cases, with testing facilities getting overwhelmed. Yogendra Yadav, the icchadhari protestor, has now alleged that the Modi government is trying to quell the protest in the name of COVID-19 and that is something he will not let happen.