In a press conference held today, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Naresh Tikait voiced concerns over the ongoing standoff between the government and farmers, urging the Centre to engage in dialogue with the agricultural community. Tikait criticised what he termed as the government’s “stubborn approach,” warning of its potential dangers.
Tikait told PTI Videos in Muzaffarnagar, “The demands are different in different states. Will the farmers always be undertaking agitation, block roads or head towards Delhi?”
“The government also has some (share) of responsibility. What is the problem in taking cognisance in these matters? The ‘ziddi ravaiyya’ (stubborn approach) is proving to be dangerous. The government should think (on these issues) and hold talks with the farmers,” he said
“The Centre’s reluctance to engage in meaningful dialogue is exacerbating the situation,” Tikait remarked, questioning whether farmers will continue their agitation, blockade roads, or march towards Delhi indefinitely.
Addressing the upcoming February 16 bandh call initiated by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) and other allied organisations, Tikait outlined exemptions for essential services. He emphasised the necessity of resolving grievances through peaceful negotiations.
When asked about the diverse demands put forth by farmers across various states, Tikait emphasised the need for a proactive approach from the government. He underscored the BKU’s unwavering support for the farming community.
VIDEO | Here’s what farmer leader and Bhartiya Kisan Union president Naresh Tikait said when asked about the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march.
“Different states have different demands. But will the farmers always stay on a protest, will they always march towards Delhi? The government should… pic.twitter.com/3AkbXhnsLK
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) February 13, 2024
Regarding the heightened security measures at Delhi’s borders, Tikait lamented the lack of mutual understanding between farmers and the government. He emphasised the importance of listening to farmers’ concerns rather than resorting to forceful measures.
In anticipation of the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march scheduled for Tuesday, Delhi authorities have fortified the city’s borders with multi-layer barricades and deployed a significant number of police and paramilitary personnel. Makeshift detention centers have also been established to handle potential unrest.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (Non-Political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha have reiterated their intention to proceed with the march, demanding the enactment of legislation to ensure a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for agricultural produce.
As tractor-trolleys from various parts of Punjab set out to join the protest, tensions continue to escalate between farmers and the government, underscoring the urgent need for constructive dialogue and resolution.