Delhi

Verbal assurances on MSP not enough, protest will continue till R-Day: BKU

Farmers protesting at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in Ghazipur on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) on Friday declared that the ongoing farmers’ agitation would continue till Republic Day.

BKU national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said the Centre’s verbal assurances on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) were just not enough. Besides, he warned of a ‘march to New Delhi’ on the eve, or morning, of Republic Day before the farmers would take part in the ceremonial parade on Rajpath in their tractors.

If they are stopped, there will be chaos, Mr. Tikait told The Hindu.

Strong message

Though they would probably leave the Capital to tend to their fields the next day, their struggle till then would be a lesson in “the power of the average farmer and their unity”, which would serve and inform the next generation of farmers in the country, he said.

“We have come here looking for a government that stays within the confines of New Delhi. There are many more farmers waiting to join us, and we will not leave till we make this absent government aware of the issues faced by farmers at the grassroots,” Mr. Tikait said at the Delhi-Ghaziabad border in Ghazipur.

He added that ‘mere words’ on the MSP were not enough and a new ‘Agriculture Act’ was the need of the hour and the recently-enacted laws needed to be repealed.

“We are here and we will decide the day we leave, not the government. We will march to Delhi on January 26 to become a part of the Republic Day parade. If they stop us, there will be chaos,” Mr. Tikait warned.

Some, though, detached themselves from the cluster around Tikait, whose father is credited for bringing the Capital to a grinding halt within a week during the Boat Club agitation of 1988 almost 32 years ago to this day, to make calls asking for more provisions, especially tractors, to be dispatched towards National Highway-24.

A little away, graffiti christening the venue ‘Kisan Kranti Gate’ on the pillars supporting the NH-24 flyover was being neatly repainted on a white background. On the flyover, speeches recalled the sacrifice of farmers who died during similar agitations across the country over previous decades among a gathering that stretches across more than a kilometre.

“I am getting call after call from home telling me about the condition of my son who has recently fallen ill. But I can’t leave. I will stay here as long as our leaders want us to remain here. We have come too far to go back without the result we need,” said Vijay Kumar, a farmer from Sravasti near Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh.

“We have come here leaving our fields, crops and families behind because this sacrifice is needed, because we are talking about the interests of each and every farmer in the country for times to come. We will stay here as long as it takes for us to achieve that,” asserted Rajvir Chaudhary from Meerut.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 4:51:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/verbal-assurances-on-msp-not-enough-protest-will-continue-till-r-day-bku/article33253946.ece

Next Story