Tikait Says He Won't Fight Election, Yogendra Yadav Hails Self-Belief of Farmers

The Quint spoke to Rakesh Tikait and Yogendra Yadav on the decision to end the protests and about what lies ahead.

2 min read
Hindi Female

On the day the farmers' protest got called off after no less than 378 days, The Quint spoke to Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait about farmers returning home, their victory, and the prospects of the elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

The protests were called off a day after the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) accepted the proposal that had been revised by the central government.

Saying that a victory has been achieved by the farmers based on the settlement between them and the central government, he further added that the farmers should return to their villages and celebrate the win.

"This is a settlement. On whatever conditions a settlement is achieved, that is victory," said farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, when asked if the government had conceded to all the demands of the farmers.

"I will not fight in the election," Tikait said, when asked about the upcoming Uttar Pradesh and Punjab Assembly elections.


'Self Belief'

Talking to the The Quint, activist and psephologist Yogendra Yadav said that the farm protests have made the farmers a very strong independent political force, and has ignited a sense of self-belief in them.

"Children are now proud of saying that their father is a farmer and that if there are no farmers, then there's no food and no future."

When asked the role of farmers in Indian politics, Yadav argued that he hopes that farmers won't limit themselves to small politics.

"If you get a few CMs and MLAs and stop, that is small politics," he said.

He further went to assert that the farmers now have an indispensable role to play in the future of this country, protecting the idea of India.

"Secularism, democracy, federalism, and the whole idea of India is under threat. Politics for the farmers is struggling to preserve those values," he added.

He went on to add that no one should play politics in the name of the farmers or in the name of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha.

'Struggle for MSP is Long'

Yadav said that the government has conceded to the farmers' demand of the three laws being repealed, but that did not mean that everything was resolved.

When asked about the government accepting the demands of the farmers, he insisted that the government agreeing to not reduce procurement levels was just the beginning and that the "struggle for MSP is long".

As for the committees that the government is planning to constitute, Yadav categorically said that he has no faith in the committees.

"These type of committees end up doing nothing. The struggle for MSP is long. The farmer has to fight on."

Ajay Mishra Teni's Resignation

When asked about Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni refusing to resign for the Lakhimpur tragedy, Yadav said that he is counting on the Supreme Court and the committee constituted by it to bring justice to the farmers.

"This however, is lesson that will be taught best by the people," he said.

Adding that merely looking at Teni makes the blood of farmers boil, he added that "what we couldn't do, the farmers and the people of UP will get it done".

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)


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