Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Saturday attended a “kisan mahapanchayat” or farmers’ conclave in Kolkata’s Bhowanipore area and made an appeal to people to vote against the Bharatiya Janata Party in the upcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal, Dainik Bhaskar reported.
Speaking at the event, Swaraj India National President Yogendra Yadav also said that farmers wanted to teach BJP a lesson.
Members of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farmers’ unions protesting against the new agriculture laws, are touring the poll-bound states to campaign against the saffron party. The farmers’ body also issued an appeal titled “No vote to BJP” on Friday.
Tikait and other farmer leaders will also visit Nandigram on Saturday evening, while they will go to Singur and Asansol on Sunday, according to Dainik Bhaskar. The Nandigram Assembly seat is important as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will take on her former aide and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Suvendu Adhikari in the constituency. The seat played host to the anti-farm land acquisition movement which propelled Banerjee to power in 2011.
Earlier on Friday, while speaking at a farmers’ conclave in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur, Tikait announced that farmers led by him will hold a tractor march to West Bengal on April 5, The Telegraph reported. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go in helicopter, while we will go behind him on tractors,” he said.
The elections to the 294 seats in West Bengal will be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29. The results will be declared on May 2. The state will see a three-cornered fight between the Trinamool Congress, the BJP and an alliance between Left parties, Congress and the Indian Secular Front.