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Tikait flags off tractor rally to mark 100 days of farmers’ protest

BKU leader Rakesh Tikait during the tractor rally in Muzaffarnagar on Saturday.  

To mark 100 days of farmers’ protest against the Centre’s new farm laws, Bharatiya Kisan Union national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait flagged off a tractor rally from Ramraj town of Muzaffarnagar on Saturday.

The tractor march will travel across 16 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and reach the Ghazipur protest site on March 27.

Police deployment

Despite Mr. Tikait’s aggressive posturing, only around a dozen tractors turned up for the rally. Local sources said a massive security deployment by Uttar Pradesh Police in Muzaffarnagar, Meerut and Bijnor prevented farmers from joining the protest in large numbers.

“It seems the police considers tractors akin to a Pakistani tank. The local police didn’t allow farmers to leave their villages,” said Mr. Tikait, who visited a local gurdwara before steering a tractor himself.

He asserted that the rally would continue as planned. “These are trials to check what the administration is up to. Whenever we want, we can mount a massive show of strength,” he claimed.

On the declining number of farmers at the Ghazipur border, Rajvir Singh, State BKU vice-president said farmers were busy with their crops. “The government is trying to tire us out. So, we have to plan accordingly. We are in for a long haul.”

Mr. Singh said, “The BKU and the Samyukt Kisan Morcha were ready for talks with the government, but it seems the government’s focus is on the State elections right now.” He said the BKU was not planning to turn political, but the BJP would face the political fallout of farm laws in the coming panchayat elections.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 7:41:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/tikait-flags-off-tractor-rally-to-mark-100-days-of-farmers-protest/article34008997.ece

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