Farmers’ leader calls Rajnath Singh a ‘caged parrot’

Naresh Tikait

Chennai: Bharatiya Kisan Union president Naresh Tikait called Defence Minister Rajnath Singh a caged parrot and said the farmers’ issues could be resolved if he is given the freedom to talk with them.

He accused the BJP-led central government of being stubborn over the three new laws, which farmer unions want repealed. The protesting farmers too are not ready to go back on their demands, he said.

The government has made Defence Minister Rajnath Singh a caged parrot (‘pinjre ka tota’). If he is given the freedom to talk to farmers, I can guarantee that there would be a decision and the BJP’s prestige will also remain intact, he said.

He said farmers respect the Defence Minister, but he is not given a chance by the government to deal with the farmers’ issue.

Tikait addressed a farmers’ ‘mahapanchyat’ here and also spoke to reporters, claiming that the Centre was not paying heed to the farmers protesting against the laws.

The government is stubborn and is not ready to hear out farmers. It should change its attitude, the BKU leader said.

“If the PM is not ready to repeal the laws, we are also not going to backtrack. The farmers are ruined and not getting the right price for their produce. The rise in prices of power, petrol and diesel has affected them also,” he said.

“If this government continues for long, farmers will have to abandon agriculture,” he added.

The BKU leader said the way to Uttar Pradesh’s Purvanchal is through Barabanki and if farmers here are made aware of the impact of the new laws, they will be able to tell farmers in that region about it.

This government is defaming farmers, labelling them as terrorists and Khalistanis and we will not remain silent on this, he said.

Tikait indicated that he had no quarrel with Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan, whose supporters and those of the Rashtriya Lok Dal clashed recently over the farmers’ protests.

 

NT Bureau