BKU President Naresh Tikait speaking to ANI. [Photo/ANI]
BKU President Naresh Tikait speaking to ANI. [Photo/ANI]

Lakhs gathering in poll-bound Bengal, farmers should not be maligned for spreading COVID: Naresh Tikait

ANI | Updated: Apr 18, 2021 12:05 IST

Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) [India], April 18 (ANI): Slamming reports suggesting farmer gatherings as a spreader of COVID infections, farmer leader and Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) National President Naresh Tikait on Saturday questioned the political gatherings in the poll-bund West Bengal and said that farmers are adhering to all health guidelines at protest sites.
Speaking to ANI here today, the farmer leader said, "Elections are underway in Bengal, there are gathering of lakhs of people almost every day. Infections do not spread then? We are following all the COVID norms and protocols and are trying our best to implement them with full alertness, but farmers should not be maligned in this manner for spreading infections."
A day after Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resume talks with farmers' unions assembled at Delhi borders for several months, farmer leader and Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) National President Naresh Tikait on Sunday welcomed his move and thanked Chautala for his initiative.
Tikait also expressed his gratitude to Haryana Home and Health Minister Anil Vij who had said last week that he will soon write a letter to the Union Agriculture Minister for restarting the conversation between the farmers and the government.
Further speaking Tikait said, "We are also braving the risks of this pandemic which has currently swept the entire country. We are not being stubborn. We have been urging our farmer brothers to fully cooperate with the Government but at least the Centre should hold talks."
Responding to a question on Harayana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's request to the farmers to call off their protest in view of the rising Covid cases across the country, Tikait said, "We all have left our homes and work behind and have been protesting since such a long time, Now it is so hot, still we continue to protest in such harsh weather conditions."
"All we want is to hold talks with the government. We do not know what is holding the government back from discussing the issue and considering our demands. We do not know whom to approach to get our issue resolved. All we want is to get the issue resolved. We know the country is reeling under a pandemic, we also do not want to go against the interests of the country but what else can we do to cooperate in this pandemic?" questioned the BKU President.
Farmers have been agitating against the three newly enacted farm laws -- 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 the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 at different borders in the national capital. (ANI)