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Indian farmers say ‘ready to sacrifice a crop but not the movement’

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait claimed Friday that farmers are ready to sacrifice one crop, but will not leave the protest sites and let the ongoing agitation weaken at any cost.

“If the government is not waking up then we can not do anything, but we are not going anywhere,” Tikait said.

He added that the farmers have been indulging in the farming of loss for the last 70 years. “If they have to sacrifice one more crop, they are ready.”

Even if they have to take the help of more workers to harvest crops, they will do it, said Tikait, adding that they will keep crops at their home “but agitation will not be weakened”.

When asked about his statement earlier about taking the agitation to West Bengal where polls are impending, Tikait said considerations are underway on taking out a tractor rally there.

Elections for 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal are likely to take place in April-May this year.

The BKU leader said agitating farmers will install fans and coolers to protect themselves from the heat in the upcoming summer season and for that Tikait said, “we will ask for electricity connection from the UP government. If they don’t agree then we will ask for an electricity connection from the Delhi government. And if they refuse too, then we will arrange for generators but not let the movement get affected due to heat in summers.”

Yesterday while at a maha panchayat at Kharak Punia Hissar, Tikait had said the protesting farmers will take the agitation to the poll-bound West Bengal if the Centre does not concur with their demands against the new farm laws, according to Indian local media.

“Crops prices are not increased, but fuel prices have gone up. If the Centre ruins the situation, we will take our tractors to West Bengal as well. Farmers have not been getting minimum support price (MSP) there also,” he said.

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“The Centre should not be under any misconception that farmers will go back for crop harvesting. If they insisted (cracking down the protest), then we will burn our crops. They should not think that the protest will end in two months. We will harvest as well as protest,” added Tikait.

Farmers have been protesting at the different borders of the capital since November 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.

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