BKU expels 7 leaders who rebelled against Rakesh Tikait; “Farmers’ interests under attack”

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After the split in the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) on Sunday, Farmers Union spokesman Rakesh Tikait revealed that 7 rebel leaders had been expelled. Tikait played a key role in the year-long protests against the Three Land Laws and sparked speculation about BKU’s influence on politics after his interactions with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao . Taking to Twitter, he accused Rajesh Chauhan, Anil Talan, Mangeram Tyagi, Digamber Singh, Dharmendra Malik, Rajbir Singh and Harinaam Verma of attacking farmers’ interests.

“Attacking the interests of the farmers, some people announced the formation of a so-called separate organization from the Bhartiya Kisan Union. Those elements who are against the interests of the farmers have been dismissed from the BKU with immediate effect,” said underlined Tikait. He also exuded confidence in the unity of the farmers. Despite their initial inclination to back the opposition in recently concluded UP polls, he and his brother Naresh Tikait, who is the BKU chairman, have not officially campaigned for either side.

Formation of a new faction of the BKU

On the anniversary of the death of BKU founding president Mahendra Singh Tikait, agricultural union vice president Rajesh Chauhan announced the formation of a separate team. Disagreeing with the Tikait brothers’ approach of supporting political parties in elections, he accused them of not listening to workers or paying any attention to farmers’ issues. The name of this faction – BKU (Arajnaitik) takes on meaning as Arajnaitik means “apolitical”. On the other hand, Rakesh Tikait accused the Center of trying to divide the farmers.

Speaking at a press briefing, Rajesh Chauhan said: “We spoke to Rakesh Tikait and expressed our concerns. We worked hard to establish BKU, but he asked us to support a party. We oppose this. Our motive is to look into the problems of farmers.We will not work for any party.

Speaking later exclusively to Republic TV, the BKU (Arajnaitik) leader said: “It was my humble request to Rakesh Tikait and Naresh Tikait to keep this apolitical. Our Andolan (farmers protest) lasted 13 months , and the movement has been completely apolitical, but after the protests ended, they (Rakesh and Naresh Tikait) had started to engage in politics.” He added, “I had told them that these were not the values of our Mahatma Tikait (Mahendra Singh Tikait). He had taught us that the BKU should always be apolitical and we will not support any politician or political party.”

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