Legendary farm leader Mahendra Singh Tikait’s son Narendra Tikait has said that farmers are ready to stay put on Delhi borders to protest against three agri laws for the remaining three and half years of the Modi government’s second term and the stir cannot be “culled” any which way the Centre tries.
Narendra, who does not hold any official position in Bharatiya Kisan Union, formed by his father in 1986, and mostly focusses on the family’s farming activities but is as vocal on issues concerning farmers as his two elder brothers Naresh and Rakesh Tikait who are leading from the front in the agitation that has been continuing for more than 100 days.
Speaking to PTI at his home in Sisauli, Muzaffarnagar district, 45-year-old Narendra also said his two brothers and the entire Tikait family would leave the protest if even smallest of any wrongdoing is proved against even a single family member, as he rejected allegations by some quarters that they have built properties and made money from the agitation.
The eldest brother Naresh Tikait is BKU president, while Rakesh Tikait holds the position of national spokesperson of the organisation, which under Mahendra Singh Tikait’s leadership in 1988 had laid a virtual siege to Meerut in pursuit of higher prices for sugarcane, cancellation of loans and lowering of water and electricity rates. The same year, BKU held a week-long protest in Delhi’s Boat Club to focus on the plight of farmers.
After Mahendra Singh Tikait’s death in 2011, Naresh and Tikait have been leading the main organisation in various roles, though a number of faction groups have emerged in various parts of the country over the years.
Narendra said the Centre is under any misconception that it can cull the farmers’ protest like it has “culled” other agitations in the past using various tactics.
“I am here in Sisauli but my eyes are there at the protest,” he said, adding that he keeps visiting Ghazipur border where hundreds of farmers and BKU supporters are camping since November 2020.
“This government has a misconception, probably because it never faced such kind of protest, but we have seen agitations and been part of those for 35 years. This government only has an experience of facing smaller protests and of getting those culled through various tactics,” he said.
“They cannot crush this protest by any means. This will continue for as long as our demands are not met. This government has a tenure of three and a half years left, and we can continue the movement till the end of its term,” he asserted.