Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Sunday said the Centre should not put conditions if it wants to resume talks with the protesting farmers.
His remarks come after Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar asserted that the three new central agriculture laws would bring revolutionary changes in the lives of farmers, and made it clear that the government was ready to hold talks with the protestors, except on the demand of the repeal of these laws.
“We have said earlier as well that we are ready for talks whenever the government is ready. But why are they making it conditional by saying that they will not take back the farm laws?” Tikait told reporters in Rohtak.
He alleged that the central dispensation was working under pressure of the corporates.
“.. they (Centre) would have talked (to farmers), but they are being run by the corporates,” he alleged.
The farmer leader earlier addressed a ‘Pink Dharna’ by women activists in Rohtak in support of the farmers’ stir against the farm laws.
In nearby Uchana in Jind district, a mahapanchayat of farmers was also held, wherein nine resolutions were passed.
Jind BKU leader Azad Palwa told reporters that the mahapanchayat resolved to boycott BJP-JJP supported candidates in the forthcoming panchayat polls in Haryana.
He said if the government does not repeal the farm laws, the candidates of BJP and JJP will face boycott in the assembly and parliamentary polls as well.
Addressing the ‘Pink-Mahila Kisan Dharna’, Tikait said, “Such a dharna by women activists is possible in Haryana, where women too have been at the forefront of this (farmers’) agitation”.
He said the ongoing stir has now become a “revolution of ideas”.
He added that although the farmers have been protesting against the “black farm laws” for months now, it has not moved the government.
“There is an undeclared emergency in the country and the people of this country should rise,” he said.
Tikait alleged that if the farm laws are implemented, the farmers will ultimately be forced to do petty jobs as their land “will be snatched” by the big corporates.
Meanwhile, Palwa said during the mahapanchayat that it opposed the Haryana Recovery of Damages to Property During Disturbance to Public Order Bill, 2021.
The Bill passed by the state assembly in March allows authorities to recover compensation from violent protesters damaging properties.
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader claimed the Bill was aimed to be used by the government against the farmers’ agitation.
The mahapanchayat demanded that the “black farm laws” be rolled back, a law to guarantee crop MSP be framed by the government, a government job and Rs 50 lakh compensation be given to next of kin of those farmers who died during the ongoing agitation, and all kinds of loans of farmers and farm labourers be waived.
Resolutions related to women’s security, the power issue and to ensure employment to the youth were also passed at the mahapanchayat.
Talking to reporters in Uchana later, Palwa said two prominent leaders — Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala and Hisar BJP MP Brijendra Singh — “are not standing in support of the farmers in their fight against the farm laws”.
“Through this mahapanchayat, we want to give them the message that they were elected due to the support of farmers and labourers. By the power of the same vote, they can remove these leaders as well,” he said.
Palwa further alleged that Chautala, great grandson of former deputy Prime Minister late Devi Lal, who was considered a ‘messiah of farmers’, was not standing with the farmers and clinging to power.
“It was Chaudhary Devi Lal who gave up power for farmers’ sake, whereas Dushyant does not care about the farmers as he does not want to give up power,” he said.