Farmers to boycott BJP in poll-bound UP; to observe June 26 as “Save agriculture, save democracy day”

BKU leader Rakesh Tikait has said that farmers’ leaders will travel across Uttar Pradesh and will ask farmers not to vote for the BJP in the state as the ruling party had cheated the peasantry class

 Bharatiya Kisan Union National Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait (Photo Courtesy: IANS)
Bharatiya Kisan Union National Spokesperson Rakesh Tikait (Photo Courtesy: IANS)
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NH Political Bureau

Amid reports of a crackdown being mulled by the BJP-JJP government in Haryana on farmers protesting against the three farm laws, farmers’ unions have vowed to boycott BJP leaders in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand – where assembly polls are due early next year – besides Haryana. They have also decided to observe June 26 as “Save agriculture, save democracy day”.

BKU leader Rakesh Tikait has said that farmers’ leaders will travel across Uttar Pradesh and will ask farmers not to vote for the BJP in the state as the ruling party had cheated the peasantry class.

He added that thousands of farmers, loaded in hundreds of tractor-trolleys, have started marching towards Ghazipur border – one of the main protest sites near Delhi-UP border – from Saharanpur on June 23. A large contingent of women also joined the protesters camping at the Ghazipur border recently, NH has been told.

Tikait said tractor rallies will be organized on the 26th of every month to remind the government that the spirit of the protest hasn’t died down. He said farmers will try to enter Delhi also. There is, however, no consensus among unions on this issue.

It is worth recalling that on Republic Day this year, hundreds of farmers had entered Delhi during a ‘tractor march’ held by them. Some farmers as well as policemen had reportedly got injured after clashes broke out between them.

Meanwhile, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) – a conglomeration of 40 farmers’ unions, blamed Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for resorting to “failed tricks” to defame the farmers’ protest.

“Manohar Lal Khattar resorted to what the Modi Government has already tried unsuccessfully - that of showing some farmers’ faces as those supporting the farm laws and arguing that farmers need to be educated about the new laws. It is clear that those that the government draws into this charade are ones who are pro-corporate and anti-farmer themselves or are ones who have no real following on the ground,” said the SKM.

“What he (Haryana CM) has conveniently chosen to ignore is that lakhs of more farmers are now aware of the adverse implications of the farm laws than ever before,” added the SKM.

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and Home Minister Anil Vij met Union Home Minister Amit Shah last week. As per some reports, a crackdown on the protesters was discussed during the meeting.

The SKM also extended its support to the owner of Golden Hut dhaba, Ram Singh Rana. The SKM alleged that Rana is being penalized for supporting the protest. The Khattar government has barricaded the road leading to the eatery.

“Ram Singh Rana has spent his personal wealth and income for doing sewa to the protesting farmers and is unable to earn anymore after the administration’s latest moves,” said the SKM.

Rana, a staunch supporter of the farmers’ protest, runs Golden Hut dhabas in Kurukshetra and at Singhu/Kundli Border in Sonipat. Popular among farmers, his eateries provide free food, ration and shelter to the protesters.

A delegation of SKM representatives has handed over a memorandum to SDM, Kurukshetra, demanding that hurdles placed against the eatery be lifted.

Talking to NH, a BKU activist said that teams of activists from various farmers’ unions are also going village to village in several places in UP and Haryana to mobilize support to observe June 26 as “Save agriculture, save democracy day”.

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Published: 25 Jun 2021, 11:56 AM