Senior BKU leader parts ways, forms ‘apolitical’ farmer outfit

Fissures within the Bhartiya Kisan Union came out in the open on the death anniversary of its founder president Mahendra Singh Tikait on Sunday, with a senior national office-bearer announcing the formation of a separate outfit here.

Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) vice-president Rajesh Chauhan said he took the decision after being “insulted” and alleged that the outfit sided with political parties in the elections, an apparent reference to this year’s UP Assembly polls.

His outfit will be called the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Arajnaitik), Chauhan said. “Arajnaitik” means apolitical in Hindi.

A senior office-bearer of the new outfit, Harinaam Singh, told PTI that Chauhan announced the formation of the outfit in Lucknow on the death anniversary of farmer leader Mahendra Singh Tikait. “Chauhan will be heading the BKU (A),” he said.

Speaking at an event here, Chauhan alleged that he from time to time tried to put forward his opinion but was ignored.

Senior BKU leaders Naresh Tikait and Rakesh Tikait “neither listen to workers nor pay any attention to problems of farmers”, he alleged.

“They have got into bad company and insulted us in one or the other way. I wholeheartedly supported Naresh Tikait and Rakesh Tikait but when the elections came, they deviated from the ideal of Mahendra Singh Tikait,” Chauhan alleged.

“They ventured into political mess and had made this organisation a puppet in the hands of political parties. I was extremely saddened and pained by this,” Chauhan said. “Rakesh Tikait was influenced by political parties. He campaigned for one party, while opposed the other party,” Chauhan said but did not name any political party. About the BKU (A), he only abided by the decision of workers and farmers. Chauhan claimed that he was a “senior sipahi” of the BKU than Naresh Tikait and Rakesh Tikait.

Chauhan also cleared that he formed the new organisation and has not shown doors to Naresh Tikait and Rakesh Tikait as shown in certain sections of the media.

“They (Tikait brothers) belong to the BKU while my organisation is BKU(A). This is a new organisation and we do not want any controversy,” Chauhan said.

Mahendra Singh Tikait was an influential farmer leader in western Uttar Pradesh. He was born on October 6, 1935 at Sisauli village in Muzaffarnagar district and was the founder president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union.

He died in Muzaffarnagar on May 15, 2011 at the age of 75. The BKU was founded in 1987 and its current president is Naresh Tikait.

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