Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Sunday said farmers protesting against the central farm laws for the last 10 months are ready to agitate for 10 years, but will not allow the “black” legislations to be implemented.
Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been sitting at Delhi’s borders for the past 10 months demanding that the farm laws, enacted in September last year, be scrapped.
“It has been 10 months of this agitation. The government must listen with open ears that even if we have to agitate for 10 years we are ready,” said Tikait, while addressing a well-attended ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’ in Panipat.
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader said that the Centre will have to repeal these laws.
Indicating that farmers were ready to intensify their stir if their demands are not met, Tikait asked farmers “to keep their tractors ready”, saying “these may be required anytime (to move towards) in Delhi”.
The mahapanchayat came a day ahead of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s ‘Bharat Bandh’ call for September 27 against the Centre’s three contentious farm laws, marking completion of 10 months of the ongoing agitation.
Tikait also said that if the present government does not roll back these laws, then future governments will have to take them back.
“Those who have to rule in this country, they will have to repeal these laws,” he asserted, while adding that “we will not allow these laws to be implemented, we will continue our agitation”.
Tikait said that if farmers have not returned to their homes for 10 months, they will continue to agitate for 10 years, but will not allow the laws to be implemented.
Attacking the central government, Tikait said, “They have taken (up) cudgels at (the) wrong place. Had they sensed the mood of these farmers (protesting against the farm laws), they would not have brought these black laws. These farmers will force this government to bow.”
Tikait urged young farmers to make full use of social media to strengthen the ongoing agitation against the laws, saying there is a big responsibility on their shoulders to counter the propaganda which is sometimes unleashed to defame the stir.
He said the government had earlier tried to project this agitation as limited to Punjab only. Then farmers were branded with various names and later, it was also projected as if the stir was only of big farmers, Tikait said.
The BKU leader thanked farmers of Haryana, saying a good number of them participated in the Muzaffarnagar ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’ in Uttar Pradesh earlier this month.
The Muzaffarnagar mahapanchayat came just months ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.
With polls also due early next year in Uttarakhand and Punjab, Tikait said similar meetings like the one at Muzaffarnagar will be held in these states too.
Talking to reporters in Panipat after the event, Haryana BKU (Chaduni) chief Gurnam Singh Chaduni said that if the government does not listen to their demands, they will have to intensify their stir.
He also called upon all sections of society to make the ‘Bharat Bandh’ successful.