As the eighth round of talks between the farmers’ unions and the Centre failed to yield any result on Friday Rakesh Tikait, arguably the tallest leader of the farmers from western Uttar Pradesh said that they are prepared to sit-in on dharna along the border with Delhi till 2024, that is till the end of the second term of the Narendra Modi government.
Responding to the Centre’s announcement that it is not going to repeal the farm laws and the farmers can freely move court, Tikait minced no words to state that they are not going to move any court and would sit till May 2024, come what may.
Explaining the patience of farmers, he said that “we grow sugarcane for one year and wait for another to get money. If we can wait for two years why cannot we wait for three and a half years. Farmers of Punjab, Haryana and UP are not going to budge. But many more would join us from across the country,” he was quoted in India Today channel as saying.
Not only Tikait, but other farmers’ leaders too rebutted the government’s advice and said that the Centre itself should go to court.
The leader of Swaraj India Yogendra Yadav said that the Supreme Court has already given permission to farmers to carry out their movement and added that no farmers’ union had ever approached the judiciary after the enactment of the farm laws. The Supreme Court had already kept itself away from the policy matter related to agriculture.
Both Yadav and Tikait said that the farmers are not going to accept anything less than the repeal of the three farm laws.
After the end of the eighth round of talks the farmers’ leaders said that the ministers had told them that they are free to move court. This is the first time that the government had so categorically told the farmers that it is not going to repeal the laws. Incidentally the ninth round of talks will be held on January 15 after the January 11 hearing of the Supreme Court and Lohri which will fall on January 13—the day farmers will burn the copies of the three farm laws.