Updated: December 13, 2021 7:30:48 am
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait whose outfit was part of the 13-month-long agrarian protests against the Centre on Sunday cautioned people not to be swayed by the BJP’s attempts to shift their attention to the matter of alleged exodus of people Kairana in Shamli district during the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.
“Kairana palayan sarkari plan hai,palayan nahi .Iske behkave me mat ayo [The Kairana exodus is a government plan and hence do not get influenced by it],” Tikait said at a mahapanchayat in Kairana on Sunday afternoon. The event was organised to thank farmers after their year-long protests concluded the day before following the recent repeal of three controversial Central farm laws that the farmers were protesting against.
BJP leaders such as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have raised the issue of the alleged exodus during recent public meetings. At a rally in Saharanpur earlier this month, both of them raised the matter, with Shah saying that in the run-up to the 2017 state elections he had assured people in the region that if the BJP came to power those responsible “for your exodus will exit UP”. In November, the district magistrate of Shamli had ordered an exercise to prepare a list of people allegedly forced out of Kairana in 2013-’14. The order was issued a week after Adityanath visited the families allegedly affected and promised them compensation and “security”.
In 2016, former BJP MP Hukum Singh had claimed that close to 350 Hindus had left the town, which was affected in the riots, due to threats from criminals. At the time, the Shamli district administration conducted a survey and claimed that only three families had fled the town after receiving alleged extortion threats.
In his speech on Sunday, Tikait, who received a rousing welcome at the mahapanchayat, cautioned people to remain alert about attempts to wedge a rift among them on issues such as Kairana. He urged them to remain focussed on issues such as employment and their livelihood.
“Thousands of people go to Haryana’s Panipat daily from Kairana and nearby towns to earn their livelihood and come back to their home state at night. Why cannot the government set up industries in this region so that these people do not have to cross state borders daily,” said the BKU leader.
Tikait said the 13 months during which the farmers protested at the borders of Delhi was a sort of training to prepare them for such stand-offs against the government in the future if need be.
“Our agitation has ended but the fight continues and the government still has at least two months before the model code of conduct [in UP] is set in force. The government has enough time to work for bringing a law on Minimum Support Price [MSP] for crops, hike cane price, and lower electricity rates. We will not indulge in any sort of protest during this period but only tell people about measures being taken by the government for their welfare after the repeal of the controversial farm laws,” Tikait added.
The BKU leader said no one should be in doubt that the farmers’ protest against the Narendra Modi government had been a success.
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