Gang of capitalists have captured it, we dont trust BJP manifesto: Rakesh Tikait
Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait | Photo: PTI

Gang of capitalists have captured it, we don't trust BJP manifesto: Rakesh Tikait

New Delhi, Apr 17 (PTI) Farmers do not trust the BJP's 2024 Lok Sabha poll manifesto, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said as he alleged that the party's government at the Centre is working at the behest of capitalists.

India is being seen as a source of cheap labour and the control of corporates over the government has grown, he said, while asking farmer organisations to be strong to deal with issues and achieve their goals.

"It is a gang of capitalists that has captured the political party," the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader said when asked about the manifesto of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in an interview with PTI.

"We do not trust the manifesto. In 2014 as well, the manifesto said they would implement the Swaminathan Committee's recommendations. It has been 10 years now and the recommendations have not been implemented," he said.

They are trying to fool the people, Tikait claimed and added that "they are using the A2+FL formula and stating that 'we have implemented the recommendations'".

The A2+FL formula for minimum support price (MSP) for crops means it includes costs incurred by the farmer and the value of the family labour. The commission had recommended the C2+50 per cent formula that takes into account comprehensive cost of production.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of various farmer unions that spearheaded the 2020-21 farmer protest, has said the BJP's manifesto has no mention of the MSP at the formula suggested by the Swaminathan Commission and called it an "open challenge" against farmers and farm workers.

Tikait stressed that neither he nor his outfit supported the BJP in 2014 though they may have backed some individual candidates.

The BJP is trying to fool the people and "working at the behest of capitalists", he said.

"This gang of businessmen have captured the political party. If it was a government, it would have worked for farmers and other people of the country. This is not the BJP government. That is why they call it the government of a particular person," Tikait said.

"... the prime minister (Narendra Modi) talks about 2047, if they (BJP) succeed in their motives, 70 per cent of the country will belong to capitalists. Land is their next target," he said.

The Modi government envisions a 'Viksit Bharat (developed India)' by 2047.

Citing the 2020-21 farmers' protest, of which he was a part of, Tikait said there will be a movement on land rights as well.

"Do a survey, land is becoming expensive. That expensive land will be bought by the capitalists. There will be a movement for land as well," he said and alleged that farmers are being forced into selling their land to corporates.

"For example, if there is land close to the highway, they block the agricultural land and erect walls. They then buy the land at cheap rates. Farmers are losing their land. In the times to come, the situation of the country is going to be bad," Tikait said.

The BKU leader also expressed apprehension that India is being looked at as a source of cheap labour.

"In competition to China, they (corporates) need a country where the population is large, they can build industries, and cheap labour is available. This country will become a labour country, where they will get a market, as well as cheap labour," he said.

"Look at the last eight-to-ten years, this is what is happening. They are giving people free foodgrains, people are deprived of employment opportunities... Delhi has become so expensive that people are going back to their villages. The labour laws have been amended. Cheap labour in this country is their (corporates) target," Tikait said.

He claimed that "in the US, there are some families, and it does not matter to them who is the president". "These families decide who will be the president. The capitalists run the political system to run the government legally. The same system will be implemented here," Tikait said.

Farmer organisations have to be strong, he said and added that today every political party is talking about farmers, the poor and the youth.

"If farmer organisations are strong, everything will happen. If the farmer organisations are weak, nothing will happen. Now, political parties have started mentioning farmers in their manifesto. Politicians are campaigning on tractors. Every politician today is talking about the poor, farmers, the youth and tribals, whether they do anything for them or not, but they are talking about them," he added. PTI

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)
Read More
Next Story