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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Rakesh Tikait – a ‘farmer leader’ or millionaire businessman?

Statistics show that the average earning of a farmer belonging to Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) is Rs 6400. But Rakesh Tikait who is also a part of BKU and heads the farmers’ protest happening across the borders of the National Capital owns properties across Bharat worth 80 crores.

Tikait was once a constable with Delhi Police but now he has businesses in areas like land, petrol pumps, showrooms, brick kilns among others. Tikait has assets in four states: Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, and Maharashtra, and 13 cities including Muzaffarnagar, Lalitpur, Jhansi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Bijnore, Badaun, Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Dehradun, Roorkee, Haridwar and Mumbai.

He is the son of prominent farmer leader and BKU co-founder late Mahendra Singh Tikait. He projects himself as a farmer leader but the truth is, agriculture is only a part of his business. Tikait, 51, got married to Sunita Devi in 1985 and has three children: a son named Charan Singh and two daughters Seema Tikait and Jyoti Tikait. His younger daughter Jyoti Tikait lives in Melbourne, Australia. On February 8, a rally was held in Melbourne in support of Bharat’s farmers; Jyoti Tikait participated there and spoke in support of the movement.

The protest against the newly introduced farm laws have been going on at the borders of Delhi mainly by the farmers of Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh for over four months now. The Opposition including the Congress party, has thrown its weight behind the protesting farmer. Tikait had contested the 2007 UP Assembly elections from the Khatauli seat with Congress support, only to finish a distant sixth. In the 2014 Indian general election, he fought on a Rashtriya Lok Dal ticket from Amroha Lok Sabha constituency, in UP, though he managed to poll only 9,539 votes (0.87% of total) to finish fourth.

Also according to some reports Tikait has captured and kept a deer (black buck) at his home, which is illegal in Bharat and is a punishable offence which invites an imprisonment of 7 years or an imposition of Rs 25,000 fine or both.

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