Farmers’ protest running out of steam but pressure on JJP to take acid test
With Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP, Harsimrat Kaur Badal quitting the Union Cabinet in protest against the “anti-farmer” legislations, the pressure is now on the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), the BJP’s ally in Haryana, to take the acid test and prove its pro-farmer credentials. SAD is an old ally of the BJP and a part of the national democratic alliance (NDA).Updated: Sep 19, 2020, 01:23 IST
The farmers’ unrest in Haryana over the enactment of three controversial farm legislations by the Parliament seems to be running out of steam. But politics is now taking the centre stage.
With Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP, Harsimrat Kaur Badal quitting the Union Cabinet in protest against the “anti-farmer” legislations, the pressure is now on the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), the BJP’s ally in Haryana, to take the acid test and prove its pro-farmer credentials. SAD is an old ally of the BJP and a part of the national democratic alliance (NDA).
While the JJP has tendered an apology to the farming community for last week’s police lathi-charge at Kurukshetra during a protest, the studied silence of JJP leader and deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala has not helped their cause.
The deputy chief minister on Friday met chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to press for action against the cops who cane-charged the farmers.
While Dushyant remained incommunicado, his younger brother and the chief of JJP’s youth wing, Digvijay Chautala said on Friday that he is of the belief the state government would initiate action against those who ordered lathi-charge on farmers during the protest.
Responding to a query on the fate of the BJP-JJP alliance in light of Badal’s resignation from the Union Cabinet, Digvijay said that she was a Central minister and the decision to quit was her party’s decision. “I would not like to comment about Punjab. All I can say is that BJP-JJP alliance is strong and steady in Haryana,” he said, ruling out the possibility of JJP severing ties with the BJP.
Attacking Dushyant, Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala on Friday said that he has betrayed the farmers of Haryana for his lust for power. “Why is he hiding behind JJP’s second rung leadership? The fact is that Dushyant and his JJP have become addicted to the crumbs of power thrown at them by the BJP,” the Congress leader said.
“For how long can Dushyant hide behind the conspiratorial silence of chai samosa meeting with chief minister ML Khattar. He is yet to utter a word against the anti-farmer laws aimed at selling the farm produce and farmers’ interest to a few crony capitalists,” Surjewala said.
Dushyant’s brother, Digvijay, meanwhile, said, “The conspiracy hatched by Congress leaders, who claimed to espouse the cause of farmers but actually betrayed them when the farmers took to the streets, would soon be exposed.”
“They are trying to circumvent the real issue and put pressure on Dushyant. We will expose their evil designs.” he said.
Leader of opposition in the assembly, Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Friday said the situation demanded a political consensus and it is important that political parties raise their voice in the interest of farmers. “A special session of the assembly should be called. These laws should be discussed in the assembly so that people know which party and MLA stood with the farmer and who all stood against them,” Hooda said.