After six months of illegally squatting on the outskirts of Delhi and becoming superspreaders, the ‘farmers’ protesting against the Modi government over the three farm laws have now set their eyes on the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, reports Times of India.
The ‘protests’ by a section of farmers from Punjab that started as a campaign against the farm laws in November last year, culminating in the Republic Day riots in the national capital, has now turned purely political as the organisers are now gearing up for “Mission Uttar Pradesh”.
With the crucial assembly elections scheduled in Uttar Pradesh next year, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the organisers of these ‘farmers’ protests, has decided to campaign against the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh and other states that go to polls next year.
On Wednesday, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait, an accused in the Republic Day riots case, said they were prepared to drag their ‘protests’ against the three farm laws till the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
“Defeating BJP is the only way out since Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems only to understand electoral loses,” said Hannan Mollah, All India Kisan Sabha general secretary.
The SKM plans to hold maha-panchayats across the state and mobilise protestors to campaign against the BJP. They are finalising the plan of action for Uttar Pradesh.
“We are not asking them to vote for any party as that is individual choice of the farmers… ours is a political movement against the draconian laws but not a partisan movement, Mollah claimed on Thursday, a day after celebrating six months of the protests at the Delhi borders.
Gurnam Singh Chadooni, President of Samyukta Kisan Morcha, admitted that the movement has turned into a movement to change the government.
We will defeat BJP in UP elections: Rakesh Tikait
Meanwhile, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait claimed that farmers have a firm resolve to continue with the protest, and the government should not be under any misconception that it will fizzle out, but it will only get stronger. Reportedly, the recent panchayat election results in Uttar Pradesh has prompted the farmer leaders to unite against the BJP, which lost some crucial seats in the local body polls.
“It proved the movement had an impact on the ground beyond western UP where farmers have been agitating. Even eastern UP is responding to the issues like MSP… on the ground, farmers are feeling the impact,” Rakesh Tikait said.
Ahead of the recently held elections in the five states, the ‘farmer’ leaders had announced and participated in several rallies against the BJP, asking people to not vote for the BJP. The SKU, which enjoys support from most of the opposition parties, had indirectly campaigned on behalf of these parties under the garb of farmer protests.
Bharat Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait had declared that if the centre does not repeal the farm laws, the only option he will be left with is to defeat BJP in the Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections slated for 2022.
Disclosing their next mission, Tikait revealed, “Samyukta Morcha’s next mission is Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.”
“We are requesting the Centre to fulfil our demands before that and repeal the laws,” threatened the self-acclaimed farmer leader.
Protestors flout Covid-19 rules, turn super-spreaders
The political campaigning by the so-called farmers comes at a time when the country is still battling the coronavirus pandemic. After sparking the second wave of the pandemic in the country, the protests have now turned themselves into super-spreaders by increasing the severity of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. Recently, a Punjab minister had blamed these protestors for increasing the Covid-19 crisis in the state.
Meanwhile, more protesters are pouring in at the Delhi-Haryana border in contravention of all lockdown norms and Covid-19 protocols. With opposition parties lending their support to the protests, they are contributing directly to the Covid-19 crisis in the country.
Twelve opposition parties had also extended their support to these protests organised by Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) and joined them on May 26 to mark the completion of six months of protests against the farm laws.