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Will not contest any elections, Rakesh Tikait says after farm protest ends

Rakesh Tikait, the leader of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), has said that he will not contest any elections after returning to Meerut after leading a year-long protest against farm rules that have now been repealed.

He also advised political parties to refrain from using his photographs or name in their campaign materials. “I’m not going to fight in any election,” the agricultural leader said, according to news agencies. “No political party should use my name or photo on their posters.”

Tikait is the national spokesperson for BKU, a farmers’ organisation that is a part of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella organisation that brought together farmers to resist the three bills. The regulations were passed by the government in September of last year with the goal of allowing commercial actors to enter the agriculture industry.

Protesters, on the other hand, were concerned that the legislation would weaken a long-standing process that guarantees farmers a guaranteed minimum price for their produce. The government ultimately rescinded the legislation on November 29 after farmers refused to move from their position for nearly a year. Farmers were also handed a letter guaranteeing the formation of a committee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) as well as acceptance notices for their other demands.

Farmers are again returning to their respective states in massive convoys of tractors and trucks, much like they did a year ago when they arrived at Singhu, Ghazipur, and Tikri on the outskirts of the national capital.

Tikait, meanwhile, returned to Meerut on Wednesday. Since November 28 of last year, the 51-year-old has been rallying BKU supporters near the Ghazipur border.

Tikait was accused of using the protests to feed his political ambitions throughout the course of the time.

Tikait used to be a head constable in the Delhi police force, but he left in 1992-93.

He also ran for office twice, but lost both times. Tikait ran for the UP Assembly as an independent candidate in Muzaffarnagar’s Khatauli constituency in 2007. He ran for Lok Sabha from Amroha district in 2014 on a Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) ticket.

Meanwhile, on January 15, farmers will conduct a review meeting. “We may restart our protest if the administration fails to keep its promises,” the SKM stated in a statement.

Tikait extended his gratitude to those who had been supporting the agitation on Wednesday. I appreciate everyone who has helped us. I also want to thank the folks who ran langars and the villages who brought us basics,” he stated.

Tikait also stated that the initiative has been “suspended,” rather than being “withdrawn.” “Discussions with the Center have begun following the repeal of three farm laws. “Our movement has been halted, not withdrawn,” claimed the farmers’ leader.