Stung by BJP, will Tikait’s BKU fight UP polls next year?

‘Now the very authorities we helped to kind is telling us we’re enemies of the nation!’

The BKU has stayed away from direct participation in politics. But this time they aren’t so positive, studies Aditi Phadnis.

IMAGE: BKU chief Rakesh Tikait addresses farmers on the Ghazipur-New Delhi order throughout their ongoing agitation. Photograph: Atul Yadav/PTI Photo

Gopi Kashyap, an office-bearer within the Bharatiya Kisan Union’s youth wing, just isn’t a kisan (farmer) in any respect.

Nor is he a Jat.

But he does belong to western Uttar Pradesh (Nithari village) and till lately, he was a devoted supporter of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

“We despatched Sharmaji (Mahesh Sharma, Union minister and Lok Sabha MP from the Gautam Buddh Nagar constituency) to Parliament twice.

“Now the very authorities we helped to kind is telling us we’re enemies of the nation!” Kashyap says incredulously.


He provides: “And what have they given us? You wish to ship your kids to authorities colleges, however amenities are so unhealthy, you’re pressured to ship them to personal colleges: Even if you happen to can’t afford it.

“Families I do know have been ruined as a result of there are not any inexpensive authorities medical amenities for severe sickness.

“My household had land and we’ve been farmers for generations. But our land was acquired 30 years in the past for a pittance and now there’s a shopping center there. I run my dwelling from the hire I get from a few outlets.

“I joined the BKU, although I’m not a farmer, as a result of I felt I wanted to establish as one thing and farming was the one factor I knew”, he says.

We’re in a small room. Mahendra Singh Tikait’s garlanded image hangs on one wall. A constitution of calls for of farmers hangs on one other with the inexperienced BKU flag fluttering within the breeze exterior.

Kashyap goes to Ghazipur on the Delhi-UP border daily the place farmers from Western UP are ‘on duty’.

He is a pal of Gaurav Tikait, the son of BKU president Naresh Tikait and inheritor presumptive of the Baliyan khap.

Khaps are clans that hint their origins to at least one household (gotra).

Baliyan is the most important Jat khap of Uttar Pradesh, unfold over 84 villages.

Mahendra Singh Tikait (father of Naresh and Rakesh Tikait), says Kashyap, bought his identify as a result of, when he misplaced his father at age eight, he was anointed Chaudhry (head) of the khap with a tika (vermilion) on his brow by the village elders, all farmers.

It was the melding collectively of caste and occupation.

Tikait took over the BKU, which had its first profitable siege in 1988 over low costs of sugarcane and upward revision of electrical energy and water charges that led to firing and the demise of at the least two farmers.

A rally organised by him at Delhi’s Boat Club immobilised the capital for days, recollects Kashyap with delight.

When the elder Tikait died, his two sons assumed command of the khap, and the BKU.

Naresh grew to become president and Rakesh grew to become organiser and logistics head.

For Kashyap, who’s nothing greater than a zonal chief of the organisation, it’s a matter of awe and delight to be related to the BKU as a result of with it comes the would possibly of a whole lot and hundreds of farmers:

“We organised a massive sit-in at Jewar (the site of a proposed international airport) three months ago. Our biggest problem is: Kisans here don’t have a place to store their harvest, not even a place where they can weigh it. So whatever the arhati (middleman) says is the weight, we have to accept it. So we organised a panchayat at Jewar. When the police came to evict us, we put a symbolic kaanta (weighbridge) at the police station and invited farmers there to weigh their produce there.”

The Jats of western UP voted for the BJP with each fingers.

One of the beneficiaries was former Chief of Army Staff Gen VK Singh, who gained for a second time from his constituency Ghaziabad, with a report margin.

So enamoured had been the Jats of the BJP that they distanced themselves from conventional associates, the Muslims.

But Kashyap says the BKU’s actions have led to a narrowing of the hole.

The next problem will be the Uttar Pradesh meeting elections, due 2022. The BKU has stayed away from direct participation in politics. But this time, Kashyap just isn’t so positive.

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