Speculations are rife after the former Congress president met BKU leader Rakesh Tikait and other farm leaders
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is leading the party’s countrywide Bharat Jodo Yatra, on Monday met Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait and several other farmer leaders, sparking buzz about a fresh political arrangement.
During his Bharat Jodo Yatra, the former Congress president met with farm agitation leaders in Haryana’s Ambala. Gandhi also met Swaraj Abhiyan founder, Yogendra Yadav, during his stopover in Ambala on the afternoon of January 9.
After meeting Rahul Gandhi, Tikait tweeted, “Today met Rahul Gandhiji in Ambala district of Haryana and discussed the problems of the farmers. In the discussion, the Nava Raipur Kisan Andolan going on in Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan and other states’ farmer issues were discussed.”
Tikait also attached several pictures from the meeting in his tweet.
The meeting of the Congress leader with the farmer leaders has given fodder to the talk of the farmer unions supporting Congress in elections.
Tikait was at the forefront of the year-long farmers’ protest at the Delhi border over the three controversial farm bills. Tikait led the farmers from western Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in the farm protests at the Delhi-UP border for over a year.
The farm protest was called off after a year when the central government decided to withdraw the three bills. Over 500 farmers died in the year-long protest over the three controversial bills.
Earlier, Tikait had supported Congress in the 2007 assembly polls. The Congress Party then announced a seat-sharing deal with the Bahujan Kisan Dal, a political wing of Mahender Singh Tikait’s Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU).
The announcement was made at a joint press conference at the AICC headquarters by UPCC chief Salman Khurshid and Rakesh Tikait, son of BKU chief Mahender Singh. However, the association was not so fruitful, as Tikait himself lost in the assembly polls.
On the other hand, Gandhi, during his nationwide yatra, has been highlighting the plight of farmers in his addresses and meetings held so far. He has been pointing out how the income of farmers has not doubled in the last eight years of the BJP government.
During his yatra, the Congress leader has met several groups of social activists, people from the business community, the fishermen’s community, farmers, and retired armed forces personnel, among others, and held detailed discussions with them on several issues.
The yatra has passed through nine states and one union territory in the last 114 days. The yatra will enter Punjab on Tuesday, from where the farmers’ protest started in November 2021.
The yatra will then enter Himachal Pradesh on January 19 for a day and then enter Jammu and Kashmir on January 20. The yatra will conclude in Srinagar after hoisting the national flag on January 30.