More than 40 farmers have had cases registered against them for seeking procurement of their paddy.
The protesters included the Congress candidate from the last assembly election at Budhlada and other workers of the state opposition party. A similar case was registered on October 18 here against more than 50 farmers, and an innocent passerby, Bikkarjit Singh Sadhuwala, on a charge of blocking traffic on the Barnala-Sirsa road over the non-procurement of cotton.
On Wednesday, Satpal Singh Moolewala, Congress candidate in the 2012 assembly elections; Ranjit Singh, member of the zila parishad; block Congress president Tirath Singh; party activist Gurdeep Singh and Bharti Kisan Union (Dkaunda) block finance secretary Darshan Singh, and 35 other people were named in a case along with farmers for protesting outside the Budhlada grain market.
Calling it political vendetta, Moolewala said the farmers had resorted to protest after more than 20 days of no procurement. "What's wrong in it?" he said. "It's political vendetta, which chief minister Prakash Singh Badal has been denying. We'll take the matter to the Congress high command and hold a press conference on Saturday."
Chittan Singh Smao, Akali legislator from Budhlada, denied that any farmer had been booked. "The protesters were all Congress workers led by Moolewala," he said. "There is no political vendetta. The case is about creating blockades as public nuisance." Deputy commissioner Amit Dhaka also said the action had been necessary to maintain law and order at four to five places in the district.