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1 Year Of Farmers’ Stir: ‘Our Struggle Moving Towards A Solution:’ Rakesh Tikait | EXCLUSIVE

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New Delhi: The farmers’ protest against the three contentious agricultural laws started on this day last year. After a year-long agitation, the government decided to roll back the laws in the upcoming winter session of the Parliament. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement during his address to the nation on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti on November 19. 

Following the announcement, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the umbrella outfit under which all the farmers were protesting, declared to call off their protest only when the process to repeal the laws is initiated. They have one more demand to introduce legislation regarding the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for the farmers. 

On the first anniversary of the farmers’ protest, senior member of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Rakesh Tikait, exchanged a candid conversation with ABP News’ Shobhna Yadav and Ankit Gupta, where he talked about various aspects of the movement, the question of when the protest would end, Lakhimpur violence, among other things. 

 

The Government has accepted the demand to repeal the laws. Now what are the demands to end the protest?

Tikait: The Centre has still not accepted all the demands of the farmers. The agitation will end only when all the demands are fulfilled. The issue of MSP still remains. The government should pass legislation to guarantee MSP to the farmers. 

Two types of committees should be formed. One should be formed after the MSP law is passed which would decide on the provisions of the law and how to implement it. Another committee should be formed which would look after the other issues of the farmers.

 

MSP was not an issue when the agitation initially started. The issue came up during dialogue with the government. Why?

Tikait: MSP has been a concern for the last 15 years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had talked about it back in 2011. The issue of MSP was there right from the beginning of the movement. If it was not so, then why did the government include the C2+50 formula of MSP computation in their manifesto? 

 

A slogan was given that whoever is in opposition, BJP needs to be defeated. Why does it seem like the movement is not against the farm laws but the BJP?

Tikait: There is nothing like that. The BJP was with us. Although they will be confronted if the farmers’ issues are not addressed.

On being asked if the slogan still remains, Tikait said that their struggle is now seeing light and is moving towards a solution. The Government should indulge in talks with farmers. 

WATCH | Rakesh Tikait Exclusive on tractor with ABP, answers sharp questions on farmers’ protest | BKB

 

Government announced compensation for farmers who died in Lakhimpur violence after consulting Tikait. Now where is the problem?

Tikait: The families of the farmers’ who died in the violence still have not received any compensation. Moreover, the government should take responsibility of all the 750 farmers who died during the movement. 

 

Was the announcement to repeal farm laws a masterstroke or a political compromise or Tikait and farmers’ victory?

Tikait: This is not about anyone’s victory or loss. These were farmers’ issues which are now moving towards a solution. 

On the question of whether what happened during the tractor rally on January 26 last year was right or wrong, Tikait said that there can be an investigation initiated on that. 

 

What is the other demand other than MSP to call off the protest?

Tikait: Demand regarding MSP was a part of the protest. Other than that, cases filed against farmers during the protest should be taken back. Families of the farmers’ who died should be compensated and responsibility for their death should be taken by the government. 

The farmers should be paid according to the MSP. We will ensure no one starves to death.

 

Why is action being demanded against Ajay Mishra when his son Ashish Mishra was involved in the Lakhimpur violence?

Tikait: Ajay Mishra is convicted under section 120B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He had instigated the violence while his son had planned the violence. 

On the question of his recent comments against Asaduddin Owaisi, he reiterated his stand and said that the BJP and Owaisi have close ties. 

He further said that they have planned to take 60 tractors for the tractor rally they have planned on November 29.



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