As the nation battles the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the alleged “farmer” protestors strategize their next big move.
Bharat Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait in a TV interview declared that if the Centre does not repeal the Farm Bills, the only option he will be left with is to defeat BJP in the Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections slated for 2022.
Deflecting the anchor’s question of whether the farmers protest was a reason for BJP’s defeat in Bengal and if the farmer leader had any role to play in it, Tikait answered, “BJP winning just 600 seats out of more than 3000 seats in panchayat elections is no less than a defeat.” Urging the Centre to reinitiate talks, Tikait said that they will visit every state if the Centre does not adhere to their demands.
Disclosing their next mission, Tikait revealed, “Samyukta Morcha’s next mission is Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.”
“We are requesting the Centre to fulfill our demands before that and repeal the laws,” threatened the self-acclaimed farmer leader.
Protests amidst the Covid-19 pandemic
OpIndia had reported earlier how rural Punjab is reporting a surge in deaths due to corona hinting at the connection to the ongoing protests. Reports suggest that 58% of the deaths reported in Punjab are from Rural areas.
On being asked why the leaders are hell-bent on risking the lives of the farmers amidst the pandemic, Tikait remarked, “Death is inevitable. If we leave the protest now, we will be hit by the government (Farm Laws) also and will also have to battle corona in the village.”
Black Day on May 26
BKU leader Rakesh Tikait announce May 26 as a ‘Black Day’ to mark six months of the protest. The farmer protestors have been asked to raise black flags from their homes and burn the effigies of the government officials.
Tikait announced that the protest will not come to an end no matter what unless the Centre agrees to reinitiate a dialogue and roll back the Farm Laws.
Meanwhile, locations around the farmer protest site continue to face the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic with cases on a rise.
It is imperative to note that the farmers have lodged themselves in makeshift tents with no proper hygiene or sanitation at the protest sites.