Agriculture Business Nation

Bharat Bandh will compel Centre to listen to farmers: Rakesh Tikait

New Delhi: Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait, who has been leading the farmers` protest in the outskirts of the national capital for the past 10 months, said on Monday that ‘Bharat Bandh’ will compel the Centre to listen to the voices of farmers.

Speaking to reporters, BKU Tikait said, “We are hopeful that this time (Bharat Bandh) the government will listen to our demands.”

Denying that farmers only from western Uttar Pradesh were participating in the protest, therefore, the farmers` protest will not be an issue in the 2022 Assembly elections, he said, “Farmers from all over India are with us”, adding that this movement was not just restricted to any one region.

Tikait further said, “No matter how long we have to stretch this protest, we will not step back.”

Ambulances, doctors or those going for an emergency can pass through. We’ve not sealed down anything, we just want to send a message. We appeal to the shopkeepers to keep their shops closed for now and open only after 4pm. No farmer is coming here from outside: Rakesh Tikait, BKU

Farmers mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have been protesting against the three contentious farm laws introduced by the Centre almost a year ago. Having borne the harsh cold, sultry heat, heavy rainfall, farmers, who have been camping outside of Delhi-Haryana and Delhi-Uttar Pradesh borders, are ready to stay as long as it is needed. “Ruk jayenge 10 mahine aur (will stay for 10 more months),” said Tikait.

This is the third Bharat Bandh since the three agricultural laws were passed by Parliament.

The BKU leader also said that the success of Bharat Bandh depends on the media as well. “If they`ll cover it properly and show everything that has been happening on the ground then this Bharat Bandh will be a success, otherwise not,” Tikait said.

“As far as the government is concerned, they will say whatever suits their narrative and benefits them the most,” the farmer union leader said.

He further said that he did not think that this Bharat Bandh will affect people`s daily life, “People are disturbed with the rising inflation and prices of petrol and diesel. That is bothering them the most. This one-day deal is nothing in comparison to what problems the masses have been facing in their daily lives.”

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Anil Chaudhary visited the protest site at the Ghazipur border to show solidarity with the farmers. He and Rakesh Tikait had a small talk over snacks.