Vote for candidates who can defeat BJP nominees in LS polls: Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait

Noida, May 23 (PTI) Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait appealed to people on Thursday to vote for those candidates who are capable of defeating the ruling BJP’s nominees in the two final phases of the Lok Sabha polls on May 25 and June 1.

The national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), which is part of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of farmer unions, also alleged that it is not the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that is contesting the ongoing election, but “a gang of capitalists” that has captured the country.

Five phases of the parliamentary polls, which started on April 19, have been completed. More than 100 constituencies across 10 states and Union territories — Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Punjab, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Chandigarh — will go to polls on May 25 and June 1.

“Two phases of polling are left. The SKM clearly says that you should vote for a candidate who can defeat the BJP. This is not the BJP’s government, but the government of a gang of capitalists. This gang has captured the country and is fighting the election. Nobody is supporting them,” Tikait said in a social media post.

“This is a direct election between India’s public and this gang. The public is fighting this election. There is no need to worry. Whichever candidate you think can defeat the BJP in your area, vote for that candidate,” the farmer leader said.

He noted that there have been instances of “misleading” voters through phone calls in which election-related discussions have been held about some candidates wrongly.

“We do not have any personal issue with anyone specifically. This is what the SKM has to say. Whether it is Haryana, Delhi, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh or the rest of the country, the Morcha has given this guideline that vote for a candidate who can defeat the BJP nominee,” Tikait said.

He maintained that the SKM is non-political and stays away from elections.

Tikait said people opt for the NOTA (none of the above) option on the electronic voting machines (EVMs) to express their anger on the government’s policies.

“But pressing NOTA directly helps the government. Do not press NOTA, vote for your candidate, do not be discouraged. This is a people’s election and people are fighting this election, whatever the result may be. We should be ready for struggle,” he said.

Tikait said whichever party forms the government, the SKM will continue with its issues, such as land acquisition, farm-loan waiver, a legal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP) for crops, the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee’s recommendations, tribals’ rights, pruning of forests, education and healthcare facilities.

“The way a calm sea does not reflect how deep it is, people should also fight this election in a calm manner. Calmness does not mean that the people’s anger has ended. Stay patient, hopeful. The people will win,” he added.

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