Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 26
Leaders of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha said on Wednesday that they were prepared to continue their agitation against the three central farm laws and one on the MSP till 2024 when the next general elections are due.
Speaking at a conversation organised by the Indian Women Press Corps on the six months of ‘kisan andolan’, BKU leader from Western UP, Rakesh Tikait, said the SKM is prepared for a long haul.
“The talks will begin from where they ended. There is no going back. Only the government can now take back the agitation. We are prepared to continue the agitation till 2024,” he said.
Tikait said that they had not received any reply from the Narendra Modi government on their letter for resumption of talks, adding “we cannot leave them like this, it is a democratic country”.
Meanwhile, farmer’ leader from Haryana Gurnam Singh Charuni added that it is their ‘majboori’ (compulsion) to continue the agitation till their demands are met.
Speaking on the six-month journey of agitation that has catapulted the farmers’ issue to the international level, Tikait and Charuni said farmer’ unions managed to create a pressure group and gain the confidence of the people.
“This despite the government telling lies, making all sorts of allegations against us. Today they will say that because of us coronavirus is spreading,” Tikait added.
Claiming that the BJP will “suffer badly in upcoming Assembly elections in UP”, Tikait claimed that according to a survey the saffron party will not win more than “160 seats in 2022”.
Charuni also debunked the idea that people will lose interest if the agitation continues for long.
“The BJP may think that people will get tired of the agitation, but this will not happen,” he said.
Charuni said farmers are preparing to show their strength in the upcoming UP and Uttarakhand elections “by backing candidates who can defeat the BJP”, also adding that “if Lok Sabha elections are held today the saffron party will not get more than 100 seats.
“The situation has completely changed in the past six months, (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi no longer enjoys the popularity he did in 2019”, he said
Countering allegations that their agitation is responsible for the spread of Covid-19, Tikait said: “There is no threat of coronavirus at our camps as we take all precautions. My question is if we take back the ‘andolan’ will the coronavirus end? Coronavirus will end in a hospital and three black laws in Parliament. Only the government can take back the agitation,” he said.