Rakesh Tikait said they suggested Mamata Banerjee to make Bengal a model state as far as farmers welfare is concerned.
- News18.com Kolkata
- Last Updated: June 9, 2021, 20:35 IST
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Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at state secretariat Nabanna on Wednesday and sought her support to the ongoing farmers’ protest against the Centre’s three farm laws and their demand for legal guarantee on Minimum Support Prices (MSP) on crops.
Since November 2000, thousands of farmers, primarily from Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at Delhi borders, demanding that the three farm laws be repealed.
The laws are 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 Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
Speaking to News18, Tikait said, “I would like to thank Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for standing beside us in this movement. Today, I met her and during the meeting, she assured us of full support for our ongoing protests against the Centre’s three controversial farm laws.”
“We fear that the farm bills will deregulate the sale of farmers’ crops. Our fight is against the Centre’s attempt to dismantle the Minimum Support Price system. Mamata ji told us about her schemes for the farmers (Krishak Bandhu scheme) in West Bengal. We suggested to her that she should make Bengal a model state as far as farmers welfare is concerned. She also believes that the contentious three farm laws should be repealed.”
In 2018, Banerjee had launched the Krishak Bandhu scheme and a year later, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi was launched in 2019.
As per Trinamool Congress manifesto, released before the 2021 assembly Polls, the Krishak Bandhu scheme provides farmers with one or more acres of landholding an annual amount of Rs 10,000.
In December 2020, Banerjee spoke to the farmers’ leaders over phone and expressed her full support to them. She also sent her party leaders, including Derek O’Brien, to express solidarity with the farmers’ agitation.
Meanwhile, BJP leader and Director of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation (SPMRF) Dr Anirban Ganguly took a dig at Tikait meeting Banerjee, saying, “Is Rakesh Tikait not a Bahiragata??? Or does Non-MLA CM apply a different rule for him???”
Is Rakesh Tikait not a “Bahiragata”??? Or does “Non-MLA” CM apply a different rule for him???
— Dr. Anirban Ganguly (@anirbanganguly) June 9, 2021
Ganguly’s ‘bahiragata’ (outsiders) reference seems to be an attempt to take a swipe at Banerjee, who frequently labelled BJP leaders as outsiders during the 2021 assembly election campaign.