People in villages cried, couldn't sleep when Rakesh Tikait wept: Farmers

Express News Service
KOLKATA: Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) leader Rakesh Tikait on Saturday visited Nandigram, the epicentre of Bengal’s fierce electoral battle from where CM Mamata Banerjee is contesting against her former aide and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari.

Tikait was received by TMC leader Dola Sen at Kolkata airport from where he left for Nandigram in East Midnapore district and later addressed a Mahapanchayat.

While addressing the rally in Nandigram, Tikait urged the crowd not to vote for the BJP. “The new farm laws will ruin farmers’ future. Crops are not being purchased at MSP. We appeal not to vote for the BJP as it robbed the entire country. Vote for the candidates who can defeat the BJP instead,” Tikait said in his address.

Without naming Adhikari, Tikait slammed him for switching parties ahead of the elections.

Castigating BJP’s rice collection initiative, the farmer leader said, “They are collecting rice not to open a community kitchen. BJP has no fund crisis. They are actually trying to collect votes in favour of them in the name of collecting rice.”

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Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee had extended her support to SKM’s movement by staging a sit-in demonstration at Delhi borders.

Trinamool Congress leaders said SKM leaders’ Bengal visit urging people not to vote for the BJP would result in the ruling party’s victory. “The entire nation is witnessing the farmers’ protest at Delhi borders. 

Nandigram and Singur, where the SKM leaders will also address a rally, are the state’s agricultural zones. Cultivation is the main source of livelihood there. Tikait’s appeal will definitely have an impact in the upcoming elections,” said a senior TMC leader.

Other SKM leaders such as Balbir Singh Rajewal, Gurnam Singh Charuni, Darshan Pal, Yogendra Yadav, Yudhbir Singh, Manjit Singh, and Himanshu Tiwari have also arrived in Bengal to hold rallies under the banner of West Bengal Kisan Mahapanchayat.