Khap leaders cautious of new regime's urban-centric image

  • Sat Singh, Hindustan Times, Rohtak
  • Updated: Nov 06, 2014 20:47 IST

Khap leaders, synonymous with power in the agrarian state, are worried nowadays because the new regime has urban-centric image.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has taken the helm from traditional rulers the Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal. Sarv Khap Sarv Mahapanchayat spokesperson Sube Singh Samain has stated that the saffron party decisions such as banning the interview system in police recruitment and giving farmers poor prices of cotton and paddy have grown the worries of the khaps, a system of social administration.

"Since the rural youth can't match their urban counterparts in education, banning interviews in constabulary would mar their employment prospects when famine and all-time low prices of cotton and paddy have made their condition miserable already," said Samain. Kandela khap pardan (chief) Tek Ram Kandela, who lost the assembly election in Jind, said: "The BJP has never been a party of the villagers. Few leaders in it understand farmers' pain."

Satrol Khap president ex-serviceman Inder Singh, who had hit the national headlines for shattering age-old norms to ease marriage alliances, said the BJP promises had made everyone hopeful but now the hopes were dashed when the farmers had not received good prices of cotton and paddy.

All-India Dhankar Khap president Om Prakash Dhankar said implementing the MS Swaminathan Commission report for agricultural reforms would prove to be the Achilles heel of both farmers and the new regime, since farmers would be deprived of subsidies and input cost would make agriculture unviable.

Days after winning the Haryana elections, representatives of more than 20 khaps had gone to former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to assure him that khaps were still by his side and would bring the Congress back to power in 2019.

Asked why he backed Hooda, Hooda Khap pardan Inder Singh Hooda had said the BJP was there to rule but Hooda had safeguarded its interests, and Jat reservation was an example of that.

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