Tikait on Priyanka’s UP visit: Can’t stop political leaders

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday visited Uttar Pradesh for the second time in a week and addressed the farmers, joining the panchayat held by the party in Bijnor district. On Priyanka’s visit, Rakesh Tikait, National Spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), said the farmers can’t stop any political leader from joining panchayats in the state.

The farmers are protesting against the new Union farm laws at the borders of the national capital, while leaders of opposition parties are also pressuring the Centre on the farm laws.

However, on Priyanka Gandhi joining the ‘Kisan panchayats’, Rakesh Tikait said,”If she is going to the panchayat then who are we to stop them, everyone should hold panchayats. Priyanka is sitting in Delhi, so what can she do here only? She must visit the village.”

Asked about farmers refusing political intervention in the ‘mahapanchayats’, Tikait said, “We are not conducting mahapanchayats. The (political leaders) must be holding their own panchayats, not our farmers unions.”

Asked if during the mahapanchayat that is taking place, are there no farmers present, Tikait said,”If someone is attending the ‘mahapanchayats’ and taking the name of the panchayat, then there is no ban on the word ‘panchayat’, everybody should hold them.”

Earlier, on February 10, Priyanka had addressed the ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’ at Chilkana in Saharanpur and now she is currently in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor district.

Farmers are opposing the Central government over the Farmer Product Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.