- Saroj Singh
- BBC correspondent, Delhi
“Those who have gone back to their village in the last two days and parked their tractor there, the women of the village have thrown bangles in front of them. They are telling the men of the house, wear bangles, sitting here, your The leader is sitting there, you should have been there with him. “
At around 1.30 pm on the intervening night of 28-29 January, a farmer associated with the Indian Farmers Union on the Ghazipur border said this in support of his leader Rakesh Tikait. He reached his village on Thursday morning due to some important work. But after seeing the viral video of Rakesh Tikait on mobile, he returned to the Ghazipur dharna again.
It seemed as if on the morning of 28 January, the house space on Gazipur is going to be empty gradually. But a passionate video appeal of Rakesh Tikait seems to have overturned the whole game. By late night, the farmers started coming again once again on the Ghazipur border and the crowd on 26 January was seen again on the 29th morning.
Pictures of the Panchayat held today in Muzaffarnagar also point to the growing support of Rakesh Tikait and the peasant movement.
The political parties active in Uttar Pradesh have done the right thing.
Farmer movement gets support from political parties
National Lok Dal leader Jayant Chaudhary reached Ghazipur border on 29th morning. Arriving there, he said, “I have arrived here as a citizen. The class for which Chaudhary Charan Singh fought in his life is in crisis today. Our party has been the party of farmers.”
It is worth noting that before 26 January, these same farmer leaders were not allowing the big leaders of Congress to join the movement.
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati decided to boycott the President’s address in the budget session of Parliament.
Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted that on the request of Rakesh Tikait, water and other necessary facilities have been arranged for farmers on behalf of Delhi government.
Remember that in the six states where the Aam Aadmi Party has decided to contest elections, Uttar Pradesh is also there.
Then how would Akhilesh Yadav, the head of the Samajwadi Party, stay behind. He also spoke on the phone with Rakesh Tikait and is standing with the farmers.
Priyanka Gandhi made two tweets late on Thursday in support of the farmers and targeted the BJP.
In the wake of the peasant movement of the political parties of Uttar Pradesh, one reason for activism is also being told that the Assembly elections to be held in early 2022. Rakesh Tikait Jat is considered a farmer leader. Especially in western Uttar Pradesh, there are more number of such Jat farmers and they also play an important role in deciding victory.
With whom do the Jats of western Uttar Pradesh
Professor Sanjay Kumar at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) says, “There are 44 assembly seats in western Uttar Pradesh. In the 2017 assembly elections, BJP got 41 percent votes in Uttar Pradesh, but in western Uttar Pradesh on average. BJP got more 43-44 percent votes. In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP got more than 50 percent votes in Uttar Pradesh, BJP got 52 percent votes in the area of West Uttar Pradesh. The same was in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In the entire Uttar Pradesh, where BJP had 42 percent of the vote, it was 50 percent in western Uttar Pradesh.
It is clear that BJP has been getting more votes in western Uttar Pradesh than in other areas of Uttar Pradesh.
How much benefit to BJP, how much damage
Western Uttar Pradesh is called the ‘Jat Belt’. In these places there is ‘Jat multiplicity’ area, where the way Jats vote, it matters a lot.
Rakesh Tikat is considered a big Jat farmer leader. He has also contested elections twice. Once assembly and once Lok Sabha. And both times they have lost.
Harvir Singh, editor of ruralvoice.in comes from western Uttar Pradesh. He has been doing journalism for a long time.
Talking to BBC, he told, “After the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013, BJP got huge support from Jats in western Uttar Pradesh. Because of this BJP became strong in this area and elected their MPs. Leaders like Ajit Singh lost the election and Sanjeev Balayan won the elections with huge votes and became a minister. Rakesh Tikait had also contested from Amroha at that time and lost the election. Politically, Rakesh Tikait would never have won the election. ”
In October 2018, the Indian Farmers Union marched to Delhi. After that they were accused that they made a pact with the government, after which their credibility was reduced.
This time, the Bharatiya Kisan Union led by Rakesh Tikait was not a part of the United Front at the beginning of the peasant movement. But later he became a part of it. First fewer farmers came with them. Then gradually their family grew larger.
The anger was slowly spreading among the farmers of western Uttar Pradesh. There is more sugarcane cultivation there. Sugarcane was not getting the right price. Electricity prices are increasing continuously.
“Because of this Rakesh Tikait’s support has increased in the last few months and the BJP has decreased. The Jat farmers of western Uttar Pradesh are very angry with BJP. People from Agra to Badaun to Pilibhit.”
Western Uttar Pradesh and sugarcane farming
Farmers mostly cultivate sugarcane in western Uttar Pradesh.
In fact, when opposition to the new agricultural law started, its leadership was in the hands of farmers of Punjab and Haryana. The central government also seemed to have coincided with this thinking.
When the Akali Dal talked of separating from the NDA, the BJP was not worried. The BJP has nothing more to lose in Punjab. In Punjab, the BJP always came to the election field by considering the Akali Dal as the elder brother in the role of the younger brother. Therefore, a cooperative has been prepared that only farmers who cultivate wheat and rice are opposing the new laws. Sugarcane farmers of Uttar Pradesh were initially angry with this.
Gradually, this protest reached other parts of the country and spread to western Uttar Pradesh as well. Then in December last year, the central government announced a relief package of Rs 3500 crore for sugarcane farmers in December.
But Harveer Singh says, “Despite the sugarcane relief package, sugarcane farmers are angry in western Uttar Pradesh. The central government has not done its homework properly. In Uttar Pradesh, livelihood rotates around sugarcane. Three The price of sugarcane has not seen an increase since the year. Prices have not been announced in this season as well. This season has started in October. Farmers who are selling their sugarcane are now zero on their slip It is being written. The state government is waiting for the announcement of the price. Some mill owners have started giving money to the farmers at the same price as last year. “
“That is why Rakesh Tikait’s support has increased. Sugarcane farmers started looking at linking themselves to the contract farming bill. They realized that this new law would hurt them further. The matter was a relief package of 3500 crores, then sugar. It was about the export, which will be directly benefited by the mill owners. There is no guarantee of how much will come in the hands of the farmers, when it will come. ”
Uttar Pradesh assembly election is far away
Senior journalist Sunita Aron says, “There are a large number of farmers in Uttar Pradesh. The number of Jat farmers is also quite high in West Uttar Pradesh. Their votes are decisive in 20-22 assembly seats. In such a situation, opposition is very likely that the farmers We will try to capitalize on this anger in our favor. But the election of 2022 is still far away. In the meantime, the government may take many steps in the interest of the farmers, the issues may end. The emotional appeal of Rakesh Tikait gets a little shock But all the elections that I have covered in Uttar Pradesh, these elections were not fought on the old issue throughout the year. At the same time, the issue is heated.
If the construction of Ram temple by 2022 can also be an issue. Going house to house, the donations that are being collected in the name of Ram Mandir will obviously play a big role in the upcoming assembly elections. In today’s date, to say that the opposition will benefit from the peasant movement and damage to the ruling party will be wrong. ”
Senior journalist Pradeep Singh says that Rakesh Tikait does not have great support. He has contested two elections and has suffered defeat both times. Secondly, the government is not opposing the farmers. BJP is also always talking about finding solutions through dialogue.
They also say that the whole fight is about who is the leader of Jats in western Uttar Pradesh? Ajit Singh would never want Rakesh Tikait to become the leader of Jats. Jayant Chaudhary may have reached there, but it is currently a politics of appearances. Naresh Tikait can also be reached for show. On Thursday, Rakesh Tikait’s brother Naresh Tikait also tweeted in support of him. But don’t forget to understand that both brothers are together.
Pradeep Singh connects Rakesh Tikait’s emotional appeal with fear of arrest. He says, “Rakesh Tikait was afraid that the police might arrest him. Rakesh Tikait first thought he would be able to go home after the strike was over. Then it was revealed that the FIR has been done, so there will be arrests.”
Rakesh Tikait vs Naresh Tikait
But Harveer Singh does not agree with Pradeep Singh.
According to him, there are no differences at home between Rakesh Tikait and Naresh Tikait.
Naresh Tikait had given a statement after a small panchayat around Thursday afternoon that if farmers do not have water and other facilities on the Ghazipur border, then they should come back. After that Rakesh Tikait’s emotional statement came out that he would not leave his people here under such circumstances.
Harvir Singh says that the two statements should not be combined. There is a lot of time difference between the statements of both and also the circumstances. The second statement was given by Rakesh Tikait after the increasing presence of police. After that Naresh Tikait only supported Rakesh Tikait.