‘If tractors are stopped, remove barricades’: Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait

New Delhi (TIP): If the tractors are stopped, the farmers should have the strength to break barricades, Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait told the cultivators marching to join the agitation in Delhi. “If you get information that there are barricades in the city then you should get enough strength to remove them,” Tikait said addressing Kisan Mahapanchayat in Nagaur district on Wednesday. “Tractor is the tank of the farmers and farmer movements are run on cars,” he added. Thousands of protesting farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been waiting at Delhi’s borders for almost three months, demanding the repeal of the three central farm laws. The government claims that these are part of the long-pending reforms in the agriculture sector. The farmers, however, complain that it will put them at the mercy of corporates. Talks with the government broke down on January 22. During a tractor rally on January 26, a section of the farmers broke off from the rally route and engaged in violent clashes with the police. Tikait’s mantra for farmers included 1 village, 1 tractor, 15 men and 10 days, adding another 15 are to replace the first 15 on rotational basis.

“If these farm laws are enforced then the foodgrains will be locked in godowns of the traders and big companies and the price of foodgrains will be decided on the basis of hunger,” he said.

He said that the farmer movement has not ended. “There are 15,000 tractors at Tikri border and farmers have put up huts under trees,” he said.

The government has maintaiend that the offer for talks is still open. The farmers, however, are insistent on repeal of the farm laws and also a guarantee on minium support prices or MSP for their produce.

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