The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), which led the 13-month-long farmers’ protest against three farm laws on Sunday split and a new group BKU (Apolitical) has been floated.
Rajesh Singh Chauhan is the leader of the new rebel group. The new outfit was launched in Lucknow on Sunday, May 15, on the death anniversary of BKU founder Chaudhary Mahendra Singh Tikait.
The leaders of BKU (Apolitical) alleged that they were upset with the “political” statements made by BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait during the farm law protests and also the recent Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
Harinam Singh, who will head the UP chapter of the new BKU (Apolitical), says “The new outfit has been formed because of the disagreements with BKU… Mahendra Singh Tikait was of the view that when we go to the government with 10 demands and even if four of them are accepted, the agitation should be withdrawn. But what is the situation today?”
He said the agitation against the Modi government’s three farm laws continued for 13 months “But some people are not yet satisfied. It is a big issue,” he said.
The BKU as northern India’s premier farmers’ body was founded in 1986 by the Late Mahendra Singh Tikait.
After his death in 2011, his sons – Naresh Tikait and Rakesh Tikait – managed the group.
While Naresh is the BKU president, Rakesh speaking mostly as the outfit’s spokesperson during the 13-month long agitation had emerged as the face of the farmers’ movement.
Rakesh Tikait has always been political.
In the 2014 general elections, he fought on a Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) ticket from the Amroha Lok Sabha constituency and lost.
In fact, Rakesh Tikait had finished fourth after BJP’s Kanwar Singh Tanwar who polled 5,28,880 which is about 48 per cent of the votes, and also after Samajwadi and BSP candidates.
As RLD nominee Rakesh Tikait had polled merely 9,539 votes accounting for only 0.87 per cent.
Tikait also had contested the 2007 UP Assembly elections from the Khatauli seat as a candidate of the Bahujan Kisan Dal (BKD) party (with Congress support), and had finished a distant sixth.