LUCKNOW: With the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls centered around the western districts of the politically crucial state, the Sisauli village of Muzaffarnagar district is once again in prominence.
With the Mahendra Singh Tikait-founded Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) headquartered here, the village has been the nucleus of farmers’ politics in the Jat-dominated sugarcane belt of western UP for decades.
A day ago, BKU president Naresh Tikait reportedly had appealed to people to support the Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal candidates in the upcoming polls. A few hours later, on Monday, the powerful Tikait family had a surprise visitor.
Triggering political speculations, the local BJP MP and Union minister Dr Sanjeev Balyan met the BKU president at the latter’s residence around 8.30 am on Monday.
A source close to the Tikait family said, “Nothing should be read into from the meeting, he (Balyan) has been long known to the Tikait family.”
On Sunday night, the BKU president said, “The BKU is an important part of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) and will go as per its line of not backing any political party.”
When asked about his appeal to support the SP-RLD alliance candidates, Tikait had said, “As I told you anyone is free to come to us, they (RLD) candidates came first to us and got the blessings. BJP candidates aren’t our enemies and are welcome like others to have tea with us. But we won’t solicit votes for anyone.”
Importantly, the two SP-RLD alliance candidates, two-times former Khatauli MLA Rajpal Singh Balyan (declared RLD candidate from Budhana seat) and Chandan Singh Chauhan (RLD candidate from Meerapur seat) had met the BKU president on Saturday.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)