Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait on Monday said the Narendra Modi government had “imprisoned the BJP and its leaders”, and that the Prime Minister was bent on selling every asset of the nation and destroying its farmers.
“The Narendra Modi government has imprisoned the BJP and its leaders. The BJP had not said in its election manifesto that it would dispose of public properties,” Tikait, Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson, told a kisan mahapanchayat in Sitapur town on Monday.
“It’s proof that this is not a BJP government, this is Modi rule. Many BJP leaders are against the activities of the Modi government but they are afraid.”
The mahapanchayat (rally) was convened by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella organisation of farmers that has been spearheading the nationwide movement against the three controversial farm laws enacted last year.
“Modi has started privatising airports, a part of the Indian Railways and some public-sector enterprises. He has sold the country’s Parliament to industrialists,” Tikait alleged.
The agitating farmers say the new farm laws, railroaded through Parliament without discussion, would leave them to be exploited by big companies.
Before the rally, Tikait had told reporters: “We will soon start a Mukti Abhiyan (Freedom Movement) to set India free from the clutches of Modi, who is anti-people and anti-India.”
Addressing the rally, he said: “Chief minister Yogi Adityanath should be given a gold medal for lying. He says he has improved law and order but he is running a government of goondas. We have to remove Yogi Baba from power in the 2022 Assembly polls.”
The agitating farmers have vowed to defeat the BJP in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, due next March.
Social worker Medha Patkar too addressed the farmers and promised support to them in their battle against Modi and Adityanath.
About 30,000 people attended the rally in Sitapur, 85km from Lucknow.
Talking to reporters in Lakhimpur Kheri on his way to Sitapur, Tikait had accused the Adityanath government of deploying police at the doors of many BKU leaders at places across central Uttar Pradesh, including Shahjahanpur, Bareilly, Hardoi, Lucknow and Lakhimpur Kheri, to prevent them from reaching the rally site.