Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said the decision of people is paramount as he hoped the new governments in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand will work for farmers and labourers.
The remarks by the national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) came late on Thursday after the BJP won majority seats in four states, including Uttar Pradesh, while the Aam Aadmi Party stormed to power in Punjab.
“In the great festival of democracy, the decision of the people is paramount. The farmers’ movement showed its effect. We hope that all the governments that have been formed will work to uplift farmers and labourers in their respective states. Congratulations to all on the victory,” Tikait tweeted in Hindi.
Tikait’s BKU was part of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmers’ unions which had spearheaded the 13-month-long protest in Delhi in 2020-21 against three contentious farm laws, which now stand repealed.
In the aftermath of the iconic protests, the SKM had launched a “punish BJP” campaign in Uttar Pradesh, where farmer leaders toured several places and highlighted the anti-agriculture policies of the saffron party and issues like inflation, alleged corruption and the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which a Union minister’s son is among the accused.
Meanwhile, the Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM), a political outfit of several farmer bodies, failed to make an impact in the political space during the 2022 Punjab assembly polls. Farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal-led SSM could not win any seat in Punjab, where the AAP registered a comprehensive victory.
Despite claims of getting immense support from people on the ground, the SSM appeared to have struggled in the polls.
Moreover, prominent farmer organisations like Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), the largest outfit in the state, and BKU (Dakaunda) did not align with the SSM while two SSM candidates withdrew from contesting the polls claiming lack of support.
SSM’s Rampura Phul candidate Jaskaran Singh retired and announced support for the AAP candidate while Mansa nominee Gurnam Singh too withdrew from the contest. All the candidates fielded by the SSM filed their nominations as Independents as the SSM could not get itself registered as a political party during filing of nomination papers. Later, the EC approved ‘Sanyukt Samaj Morcha’ as the name of the political party, subject to fulfilling certain conditions for the formal registration.
Farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, started protesting at Delhi border points — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur — on November 26, 2020 against the three contentious farm laws. The laws were repealed by Parliament on November 29, 2021 but farmers continued their protest over their pending demands such as a committee for legal guarantee for MSP and withdrawal of police cases against farmers, among others.
The protest was suspended on December 9, 2021, after the government agreed to fulfill the pending demands. (PTI)