Farmers’ leader Rakesh Tikait will hold a mahapanchayat in West Bengal’s Nandigram on Saturday, from where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari have filed nomination papers for the upcoming assembly election.
Tikait, who has been leading a massive months-long farmers’ agitation against the three central farm laws at the Delhi-UP border, was welcomed in Kolkata by Trinamool Congress MP Dola Sen.
Before leaving for Nandigram – site of the anti-farm land acquisition movement that propelled Banerjee to power in the state – the Bharatiya Kisan Union chief held a meeting with Trinamool leaders at Kolkata’s Mayo Road.
Also read: Why Tikait’s tears were enough to overpower massive police deployment
Tikait and other farmer leaders will also visit Singur and Asansol on Sunday, according to Dainik Bhaskar.
The ruling TMC appears to have found favour with the protesting farmers, with Tikait expected to urge people not to vote for the BJP.
Members of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmers’ unions, are already touring the poll-bound states to campaign against the BJP. On Friday the farmers’ body issued an appeal titled ‘No Vote to BJP’.
Also read: Nandigram: A close-to-heart, layered battle for Mamata, Suvendu
Also on Friday, at a farmers’ conclave in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Tikait announced that farmers led by him will hold a tractor rally in West Bengal on April 5, The Telegraph reported. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go in helicopter, while we will go behind him on tractors,” he said.
Elections to the 294 seats in West Bengal will be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29. The results will be declared on May 2.