Hours after the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Naresh Tikait extended his support to Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) alliance in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh polls, his brother, Rakesh Tikait, issued a clarification saying they are not supporting the SP-RLD alliance and there was a ‘misunderstanding’ among people regarding the same.
“We didn’t extend any support, people have made a mistake in understanding,” Rakesh Tikait said.
Rakesh Tikait, who was at the vanguard leading the farmers’ protest against the Modi government’s farm laws contradicted his brother’s claim, who had rallied behind the Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. Clarifying that BKU has not favoured any political alliance, Rakesh said that his party would communicate the same through their official social media handle.
“If someone comes to our house, we say ‘we are with you’. We are not telling anyone whom to vote for. We have decided that we will not support anyone. Even if we are against the government, everyone (the people) knows what they have to do,” Tikait said.
“Leaders of different parties are reaching the village, so everyone is being told that you should contest the elections”, added Rakesh Tikait.
Interestingly, the about-turn by Rakesh Tikait came in the wake of Naresh Tikait’s comments extending support to the SP-RLD alliance. Several videos of Naresh voicing his organisation’s support for the SP-RLD coalition in the upcoming UP assembly polls have been doing the rounds on the internet.
Naresh Tikait regrets extending support to SP-RLD in UP polls
Soon after Rakesh Tikait refuted his brother’s claims, Naresh Tikait backtracked from his stance and expressed regret over his statements. After backing the SP-RLD alliance’s candidates, Naresh Tikait said that he shouldn’t have made such statements.
“I said something that I shouldn’t have. Kisan Samyukt Morcha is supreme and I’m not above it. If any candidate comes here, I will give my blessings but no one should seek endorsement,” said the BKU president.
When asked whether they would be extending support to BJP in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh polls 2022, Naresh Tikait added: “BJP candidates are not our enemy, anyone can visit and seek my blessings but no one should seek endorsement.”
Videos of Naresh Tikait announcing support to SP-RLD in UP polls surface
Interestingly, only yesterday, a video emerged in which Naresh Tikait was heard throwing his weight behind the SP-RLD alliance for the much-awaited Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls despite the Samyukta Kisan Morcha issuing a warning that any farmer organization that will contest the elections will have to leave the United Front.
Naresh Tikait had reportedly sent out messages to both the Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in the state of Uttar Pradesh encouraging them to contest the upcoming elections calling it a matter of prestige.
A meeting was also organised in this regard at the Kisan Bhavan in Tikait’s native village Sisauli in the Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh. Rakesh Tikait was also present in this meeting, where support to the joint candidates of SP and RLD, fielded from Budhana and Meerapur found a special mention.
SP and RLD announce to contest Uttar Pradesh polls together
Meanwhile, on January 15, Saturday, the RLD and Samajwadi Party alliance announced its second list of seven candidates for the assembly elections. In this list, all the candidates belong to the RLD. On January 13, Thursday, the first list of 29 candidates was released in which the Samajwadi Party has named its 10 candidates while RLD has been given 19 seats. The RLD candidates have been announced in 26 seats so far.