Centre's silence indicates it is planning steps against farmers' protest: BKU leader Rakesh Tikait

MEDINIPUR: Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Saturday said in Nandigram that tractors will again enter Delhi the day a decision is taken by Samyukt Kisan Morcha and “a new mandi will be opened in Parliament”.

Talking to reporters at Nandigram, which is a key battleground in the West Bengal elections, Tikait accused the BJP-led government of working in the interest of corporates.

“The day Samyukt Morcha decides, a new mandi will be opened at Parliament. The crops will be sold at the minimum support price (MSP). Tractors will again enter Delhi. The 3.5 lakh tractors and 25 lakhs farmers are the same. The next target will be to sell crops at Parliament,” he said.

“Are tractors to be brought on hire? Tractors are the same, the men are the same. The day Samyukt Morcha decides, a new mandi will be opened. The next target will be parliament. Delhi should listen with ears open. Who will stop tractors?” he asked.

READ|Bengal polls: Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait visits Nandigram, urges people not to vote for BJP

Tikait said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated farmers can sell their crops anywhere.

“I feel the mandi in parliament is the best. The farmer is outside and trader is outside, there will be purchase definitely,” he said.

Tikait had earlier appealed to voters of Nandigram not to vote for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the assembly polls.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha held a ‘mahapanchayat’ in Kolkata against the three new farm laws enacted by the Centre.

Delhi had witnessed violence during the tractor parade on the call of farmer unions on January 26. Tractors had entered the national capital violating the agreement on the route of the tractor march.

Nandigram will witness the most high-profile contest of West Bengal elections with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee taking on her former ministerial colleague Suvendu Adhikari, who had joined BJP in December last year.

Adhikari had earlier said that BJP will defeat Banerjee by over 50,000 votes from Nandigram.

Elections to the West Bengal assembly will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 to April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.

Farmers have been protesting at different borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three newly enacted farm laws — Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.