The leaders of the “farmer protest” might claim to represent the poor Indian farmer, but they’re hardly poor Indian farmers themselves.
Rakesh Tikait, who has emerged as one of the faces of the recent farmer protests on the borders of Delhi, is worth Rs. 80 crore. As per a DNA report, Tikait has assets across four states, including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Delhi. Besides, he has properties spread across 13 cities, including Muzaffarnagar, Lalitpur, Jhansi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Bijnor, Badaun, Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Dehradun, Roorkee, Haridwar, and Mumbai. Tikait owns a range of businesses like petrol pumps, brick kilns, and showrooms the report said.
Even Rakesh Tikait’s family isn’t what you’d expect from someone claiming to lead thousands of ordinary Indian farmers — his daughter, Jyoti Tikait, is settled in Australia. Tikait himself comes from a politically influential family — his father, Mahendra Singh Tikait was a well-known farmer leader in Uttar Pradesh. In 1988, Mahendra Singh Tikai had gathered 5 lakh people in New Delhi, and occupied the entire stretch from Vijay Chowk to India Gate. In 1990, he had protested in Lucknow with 2 lakh farmers.
His son is now worth an estimated Rs. 80 crore, but Rakesh Tikait isn’t the only farmer leader who isn’t what the media is portraying the typical farmer to be. VM Singh, who was representing the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee in the protests, had a net worth of Rs. 631 crore as per his election affidavit. He also had 8 cases registered against him.
This affluence of the “farmer leaders” is in stark contrast to the average Indian farmer. While Rakesh Tikait has a net worth of Rs. 80 crore, the average Indian farmer only earns a monthly household income of Rs. 6,400.