'Not going home, government must talk to us on other demands': Tikait rakes up MSP issue as he demands Union Minister Ajay Mishra's arrest

He claimed that as chief minister of Gujarat Modi was part of a committee that suggested to the then prime minister Manmohan Singh that a law guaranteeing MSP was required.

Published: 22nd November 2021 07:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd November 2021 09:11 PM   |  A+A-

BKU leader Rakesh Tikait

BKU leader Rakesh Tikait (Photo | EPS)

By PTI

LUCKNOW: Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Monday accused the government of trying to divide farmers and said it should talk to them to resolve all their issues, or else "we are not going away".

Addressing a farmers' mahapanchayat here, Tikait also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give a clear answer on the demand for a law guaranteeing minimum support price (MSP) that he had "backed" when he was the Gujarat chief minister.

The PM on Friday announced his government decision to repeal the three farm laws over which the farmers have been protesting over the past year on Delhi's borders, urging them to return to their homes.

Despite the climbdown by the government, farmer unions have said they will continue their agitation on other demands, including an MSP law and the dismissal of Union minister Ajay Mishra over violence in Lakhimpur Kheri.

"The government should talk to us, otherwise we are not going. The solution should be evolved through talks," the BKU leader said at the public meeting called by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farm unions.

"They did the right thing by withdrawing the laws but tried to divide farmers by saying that they failed to make some people understand the laws. We are some people," the BKU leader said, referring to the PM's televised speech.

Urging people to join the farmers' movement, Tikait said, "They will entangle you all in Hindu-Muslim, Hindu-Sikh and Jinnah and will keep selling the country."

The Jinnah reference was to a slugfest between the ruling BJP and the Samajwadi Party after its leader Akhilesh Yadav made a remark equating the founder of Pakistan with freedom fighters like Sardar Vallbhbhai Patel.

He claimed that as chief minister of Gujarat Modi was part of a committee that suggested to the then prime minister Manmohan Singh that a law guaranteeing MSP was required.

"The report of this committee is lying in the PMO. There is no new committee required nor has the country more time," Tikait said, referring to the government offer to set up a panel.

"Give a clear answer. The prime minister will have to give a clear answer before the country whether he will accept the suggestion of the committee he was a part of for an MSP guarantee law," he said.

He also attacked the media saying that since the past three days they have only been questioning the farmers.

"We have many issues including the one related to the farmers who lost their lives during the agitation," he said.

Among the demands made by SKM are withdrawal of cases against farmers, building a memorial to the protesters who lost their lives during the agitation and withdrawal of the Electricity Amendment Bill.

Tikait on Monday compared Union minister Ajay Mishra with a "terrorist" and sought his arrest in connection with the death of four farmers in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader also opposed the proposed inauguration of a sugar mill in Lakhimpur Kheri by the minister, saying if he turns up there, farmers won't take their sugarcane to the mill.

The violence had erupted on October 3 when farmers were protesting the visit of Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to Mishra's native place.

Four agitating farmers were run over by a vehicle allegedly carrying BJP workers.

Four others, including a journalist and two BJP workers, were also killed in the violence that followed.

Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra has been named as accused in the case.

Addressing a "kisan mahapanchayat" here at Eco Garden, Tikait said the arrest of the minister is one of their main issues.

He said attempts are being made to make the minister a "hero" from a "qatil" (murdrer).

"If terrorists from Kashmir can be lodged in the Agra jail, then the murderer of farmers is also a terrorist and he too should go to the Agra jail," Tikait said.

Referring to the proposed inauguration of the sugar mill by Mishra, Tikait said if he goes there to inaugurate it, then no sugarcane will be taken to the mill.

"Rather, farmers will take the sugarcane to the office of the district magistrate, no matter how much losses they incur," Tikait said.

Tikait said after December, he will be visiting Lakhimpur Kheri for three days to meet families of the farmers killed in the violence.



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