Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Friday alleged that the BJP was weakening all political parties using “money power” so that it can rule the country all alone.
He also accused the election officials of tampering with the results in more than 100 Assembly seats during the Uttar Pradesh polls held earlier this year, saying the machinery worked at the behest of the saffron party.
Tikait, who was en route to Shrawasti, interacted with the media after stopping his convoy in front of the collectorate in Bahraich. “They (BJP) want to dismantle the entire opposition so that only one party gets to rule the country. They will weaken all political parties using money power,” he said in response to a question from reporters during an informal chat.
When asked about the Congress’ ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ headed by Rahul Gandhi, Tikait said it was the right move to “unite the country” but it should have been carried out earlier. “The entire opposition should come out onto the streets. Or else, in the coming days, all movements and political parties will be banned and closed down,” Tikait said.
Accusing the ruling party in the state of winning the elections through dishonest means, he said the opposition candidates who were winning by around 30,000 votes in each of the over 100 Assembly constituencies were made to lose.
Responding to the government’s ban on the Popular Front of India, he said curbs on any organisation that does wrong are justified but added that the government should not do so just to discriminate against any community.
Tikait, who was at the forefront of the agitation against the Centre’s three contentious farm laws, said the farmers will launch a movement across the country demanding a law on Minimum Support Price for crops and also to check “loot” of the land to corporates such as Adani.
“Only farmers can save the country. Farmers’ organisations will continue to work towards this cause,” he added.
Tikait also warned Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath of protests if the state government did not fulfill the promise of making timely payments to sugarcane cultivators.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday claimed that the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ was the only option left with the party to reach out to the masses as all other fora for expression are shut. His ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ entered Karnataka in Gundlupet (Chamarajanagar district) from Gudalur in Tamil Nadu.
“There are various institutions in democracy. There’s media and Parliament too but all these have been shut for the opposition and media doesn’t listen to us. There’s total government control. Our mics are muted in Parliament, Assemblies are not allowed to function and opposition is harassed. In this situation, the only option left with us is ‘Bharat Jodo Yata,” Gandhi said at a public meeting at Gundlupet.
Gandhi said no force in the country can stop this yatra because this is ‘India’s March’. “This is India’s March and a march to hear India’s voice, which no one can suppress,” he added.
The former Congress president said that in the next 21 days, during which the Yatra would cover 511 km, passing through various districts, the “pain of Karnataka” will be heard. “In the next 20 to 25 days, you will accompany me and you will hear the pain of Karnataka. You will hear about prevailing corruption, unemployment and price rise (in Karnataka),” Gandhi said.
According to him, the objective of the march is to “save” the Indian Constitution, and “to stand up against the BJP and RSS’ ideology of hatred and violence”.
“This march is to save the Constitution. This tri-colour is meaningless without the Constitution,” he told the crowd. The Congress leader said the Yatra also encompasses people’s struggle against price rise, unemployment, atrocities against farmers and the privatisation of public sector units.
“The objective of this Yatra is not to give speeches but to hear you,” he added. (PTI)