While the future of the farmers’ protests hangs in the balance, it is clear that the future of Rakesh Tikait, albeit politically, is extremely bright as the farm leader is using the protests to kickstart his political career which had faced numerous setbacks before the farmer protests. As Tikait and his comrades criss-cross the country to peddle their agenda, Rajasthan’s Jat leaders are feeling threatened by fellow Jat, Rakesh Tikait.
Tikait, who is slated to address five rallies in Rajasthan this month, has managed to heat up Rajasthan politics. Tikait created a flutter after he addressed a rally in Nagaur – the constituency of Rashtriya Loktantrik Party. This brought in a major worry for the party convener and Jat leader Hanuman Beniwal, who left the NDA as a mark of protest against the three new farm laws.
At his rally in Nagaur, Tikait said, “Farmers will have to continue the agitation. We have to make committees in each village. Only then will this agitation be successful.”
He added, “If the administration imposes Section 144, farmer organisations put Section 188 alongside. Till you don’t learn to break barricading and push your way forward, you can’t take the agitation to Delhi. If you come to know there is barricading anywhere in the city, farmers should have 4 times the strength and learn to break the barricading.”
Revealing the ‘formula’ for the success of the protests, Tikait said, “One village, 15 men and 10 days is the formula of building an organisation. After 10 days, change 15 the people.”
Tikait is scheduled to hold a Kisan Mahapanchayat in Pipad city in Jodhpur district, on March 12 with a meeting will be held in Sriganganagar on March 17 and a big rally is planned in Jaipur on March 23. It is pertinent to note that Tikait’s meetings are being strategically held in areas that are strongholds of farmers as well as Jats.
Beniwal is already feeling that Tikait through his rallies may influence his Jat strongholds in Rajasthan. Apart from Beniwal, BJP State President Satish Poonia, Congress State President Govind Singh Dotasara and senior Congress MLA Bharatpur and former royal family member Vishwendra Singh believe that Tikait is busy preparing political ground for himself in the Jat-dominated areas of the state.
Recently, announcing his plans to extend the farmers agitation to West Bengal, Tikait claimed that since Bengal is near the sea, the farmers present in the state are involved in fish farming and are a troubled lot with many fishermen having lost their lives, the agitation will be extended to West Bengal.
Bharatiya Kisan Union(Haryana) Chief Gurnam Singh Chadhuni appealed to the people to not vote for anyone who does not help the protesting farmers and support their movement in elections from panchayat to parliament. He said, “As far as West Bengal is concerned, if the BJP people lose, only then will our movement will succeed.”
It seems that though Rakesh Tikait might not be able to succeed in forcing the Modi government to repeal the three farm laws, he will successfully relaunch his political career come 2024.