- Rakesh Tikait requested Biden to "focus" on farm laws when he meets PM
- At least 700 farmers have lost their lives during the protests, he said
- PM Modi will hold a bilateral meeting with Joe Biden this evening
Hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first bilateral talks with Joe Biden, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait sent out an appeal to the US President to "focus" on the controversial farm laws passed by the Centre when he met with the PM. At least 700 farmers have lost their lives during the protests in the last 11 months and "these black laws should be repealed to save us", the farmer leader tweeted to the US leader, seeking to draw international attention once again to the protests.
Dear @POTUS, we the Indian Farmers are protesting against 3 farm laws brought by PM Modi's govt. 700 farmers have died in the last 11 months protesting. These black laws should be repealed to save us. Please focus on our concern while meeting PM Modi. #Biden_SpeakUp4Farmers- Rakesh Tikait (@RakeshTikaitBKU) September 24, 2021
Mr Tikait is the spokesperson of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), which is one of the farmer unions that has been seeking the removal of the three agri laws. The farmers fear the three farm laws will do away with the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.
Hundreds of farmers led by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha are camping at Delhi's borders since November 2020 demanding a roll back of the three laws. Instead, the farmers want a new law made to guarantee minimum support price (MSP) for crops.
However, the government, which has held 11 rounds of formal dialogue with the protestors, has maintained that the laws are pro-farmer and has offered to amend them.
Earlier this year, the protests gained global attention when American singer Rihanna, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, Meena Harris, an American lawyer and niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris, actor Amanda Cerni, singers Jay Sean, Dr Zeus and former adult star Mia Khalif tweeted on the issue.
PM Modi will hold a bilateral meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House this evening.This will be the first in-person meeting between the two leaders after Biden took over as the US President on January 20.