Farmers don’t believe the BJP agenda, and corporate power over government has increased: BKU’s Rakesh Tikait

Rakesh Tikait, a farmer representative, said that the BJP’s leadership at the Centre is operating at the behest of capitalists and that farmers do not believe the party’s plan for the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

He claimed that corporations now have more influence over the government and that India is considered as a source of cheap labor. He also urged farmer organizations to be strong in order to address problems and accomplish their objectives.

In response to a question on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) platform, the head of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) said, “It is a gang of capitalists that has captured the political party,” in an interview with PTI.

We have doubts about the manifesto. The 2014 manifesto pledged to carry out the recommendations made by the Swaminathan Committee. He said, “It has been ten years and the suggestions still haven’t been executed.

The BJP is attempting to deceive the public. As Tikait put it, “they are using the A2+FL formula and stating that ‘we have implemented the recommendations’.”

The farmer’s expenses and the worth of the labor performed by the family are included into the minimum support price (MSP) for crops, which is determined using the A2+FL formula. The C2+50% formula, which accounts the total cost of manufacturing, was suggested by the commission.

The BJP’s platform, according to the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella organization of many farmer unions that led the farmer protest in 2020–21, makes no mention of the MSP at the formula recommended by the Swaminathan Commission and refers to it as a “open challenge” to farmers and agricultural workers.

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 in New Delhi, during an interview with PTI.
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Tikait emphasized that while they could have sponsored some specific candidates, neither he nor his group backed the BJP in 2014.

He said that the BJP is “working at the behest of capitalists” and is attempting to mislead the public.

“This commercial group has taken control of the political party. It would have benefited farmers and other citizens of the nation if it had been a government. The BJP administration is not this one. That’s the reason they refer to it as the “government of a specific individual,” Tikait said.

“The prime minister, Narendra Modi, speaks about how 70% of the nation would be owned by capitalists in 2047 if the BJP achieves its goals. Their next objective is land,” he said.

‘Viksit Bharat (developed India)’ is what the Modi administration hopes to achieve by 2047.

Referencing the farmers’ protest in 2020–21, in which he participated, Tikait predicted the emergence of a land rights movement.

Take a survey; land is becoming more and more costly. The capitalists will purchase that pricey land. There’s going to be a land revolution too,” he said, accusing farmers of being coerced into surrendering their property to corporations.

For instance, they build fences and restrict agricultural property next to the roadway. After then, they pay a low price for the land. Land is being lost by farmers. The country’s circumstances will deteriorate in the future, according to Tikait.

The head of BKU also voiced concern about India being seen as a cheap labor source.

“They (corporates) need a nation where they can construct businesses, where the population is huge, and where cheap labor is accessible in order to compete with China. This nation will develop into a labor powerhouse, providing cheap labor and access to a market,” he said.

“Observe the last eight to ten years; this is the situation. People are receiving free food grains, and work possibilities are being denied to them. With the rising cost of living in Delhi, many are returning to their countryside. There have been changes to the labor laws. “Corporates are aiming for cheap labor in this country,” Tikait said.

He said that “in the US, there are some families, and it does not matter to them who is the president.”

“The presidential candidate is chosen by these households. To legitimately rule the government, capitalists control the political system. Here, the same method will be used,” Tikait said.

He said that farmer organizations needed to be strong and that all political parties were talking about farmers, the underprivileged, and young people these days.

“All will occur if farmer organizations are powerful. Nothing will happen if farmer organizations remain weak. Political parties have recently begun to include mention of farmers in their manifestos. On tractors, politicians are running for office. Whether they do anything for them or not, politicians nowadays always bring up the issues of the impoverished, farmers, youth, and tribal people,” he said.

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Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 in New Delhi, during an interview with PTI.
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