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New Strategy to Mount Pressure on Govt, Says Tikait

Manoj Varghese Manoj Varghese
01 Mar 2021

“An all-out effort is being made to convince the Govt to withdraw the three Farm Laws,” says Rakesh Tikait, leading the farmers’ protest from the front, in an interview with Manoj Varghese. The tractor rally and rail rokho abhiyan on January 26 and February 6 were just a trailer of bigger things to follow in the days to come. In the three-month long agitation, Mr Tikait has become the face of the protest. 

What is the reason for the thin crowd on borders?
We have changed our strategy, and are holding Mahapanchayats and Khap panchayats in villages across the country. The aim is to convenience the local farmers, who in turn will mount pressure on their local Member of Parliament. And, on the national front, we will be marching towards the Parliament to express our solidarity and press for our demands. So, the plan is to build momentum from the grassroots level to the Parliament and from the Parliament to the villages. 

How do you plan to carry out the Parliament gherao?
We want to send across the message aloud that we are not only Gandhiwadi, but if needed would stand up to the expectations of Subash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh. The Sanyukt Kissan Morcha will decide the entire road map in its forthcoming meeting. Tractor is our tool, and if required will involve 40 lakh tractors across the country. And, we will march towards the Parliament keeping the traffic and previous chaos in mind. Our patience and calmness are not our weakness, but is a mark of patriotism. 
How is the Mahapanchayats and Khap panchayats helping your Andolan?
The Mahapanchayats and Khap panchayats are our life saving drugs and are helping in garnering support at the local level. In a recent BJP meeting, presided over by its president and the Union Home Minister, the MPs were asked to visit their local constituencies and convince the farmers. But, at many places, they were not allowed to enter villages and address farmers, at places they even faced the brunt of local farmers.

How come that the movement is not getting much support from South India?
It’s not like that. A lot of protests are happening there too, but is not being covered by the media. I would be addressing farmers’ rally in Telengana on March 6 and then in Karnataka from March 19 to 21 along with several other leaders of Sanyukth Kisan Morcha.
Any update on the Supreme Court-constituted committee?
We have no update on this. We have not been invited to their meetings or asked for our opinion. We just came to know that one meeting was held at Pusa with some ‘so-called farmers’ who are supporting the farm laws. 


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