Rakesh Tikait, leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, said amidst the Bharat Bandh of farmers’ organizations, ‘Our ‘Bharat Bandh’ was successful. We got full support of farmers. We cannot seal everything as we also have to take care of the movement of people. We are ready for talks with the government, but no talks are taking place. We have been sitting for ten months to talk.
On the appeal of Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Rakesh Tikait said that we should be told on which table to talk, we will come. Our crop is being sold at half the rate, how can we give up stubbornness? Has the government made a law by asking us?
He said that farmers’ crops are being sold at half the rate. This is the fight of the common people only. This is a fight against inflation. He said that grain should not be occupied by companies, bread should not become a commodity in the market, this movement is for him. The government has a solution for this and the government will find a solution. Reiterating the demand of farmers’ organizations, he said that the government should withdraw all the three new agricultural laws and make a guarantee law on Minimum Support Price (MSP), then a solution will be found.
The United Kisan Morcha (SKM), an organization of over 40 farmers’ unions leading the farmers’ agitation against the three central agricultural laws, called for a Bharat Bandh on Monday. The SKM had called for ‘Bharat Bandh’ against the central government on the completion of 10 months of this historic struggle of the farmers. The bandh started at 6 am and continued till 4 pm. All government and private offices, educational and other institutions, shops, industries and commercial establishments as well as public events and other events remained closed throughout the country during the nationwide strike, however, all emergency services including hospitals, medical stores, relief and rescue operations Those attending establishments and essential services and personal emergencies were exempted.
Farmers from different parts of the country, especially Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at the borders of Delhi since November last year. The protesters are demanding the repeal of three agricultural laws. Farmers fear that this will destroy the minimum support price system and leave them at the mercy of big corporates. However, the government is projecting three laws as major agricultural reforms. Despite 10 rounds of talks between the two sides, the deadlock remains.