The first leg of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP's) symbolic stir against the land acquisition ordinance ended on Monday.
During the agitation, AAP members tried to remind Haryana parliamentarians of their allegiance to voters by giving them small sacks of salt, a symbol of loyalty.
"We have presented 'namak ki theli' to three BJP MPs - Gurgaon's Rao Inderjit Singh, Karnal's Ashwini Kumar Chopra and Sonepat's Ramesh Kaushik in the past three days, while we would be covering the remaining five of the BJP, one of the Congress and two of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in the next fortnight,'' AAP state spokesman, Rajiv Godara, told HT. The next leg of the stir, he added, would resume on Thursday.
On the symbolism of salt, AAP state convener, Dr Ashawant, said, "According to regional ethos, one owes faithfulness to those whose salt (food) they eat, and in this context Haryana MPs owe to reciprocate the faithfulness of the farmer by whose votes they have become parliamentarians."
"Since they seem to have forgotten it, we are reminding them," he added.
AAP leaders said that they would be giving the packets of salt also to Congress and INLD MPs for them to "stand up in the parliament" and speak out against the land ordinance.
However, the party does not seem to be getting the response it expected from the farmers.
Moreover, none of the MPs, whose offices they went to, met them. AAP leaders said the response from the farmers was sluggish as they are not aware of the changes being made in the land acquisition act.
Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar recently slammed the AAP for its agitation, saying the land ordinance brought by the Centre would benefit farmers. He said the opposition to the ordinance was "propaganda by self-proclaimed leaders with vested interests."