Farmers’ issues, unemployment key topics ahead of Ellenabad bypoll

The three farm laws enacted by the Union government last year, water issues and unemployment are the key topics being taken up ahead of the Ellenabad bypoll (October 30)
L-R: INLD’s Abhay Singh Chautala; Congress’ Pawan Beniwal; and BJP‘s Gobind Kanda are in fray for the Ellenabad seat. (HT File)
L-R: INLD’s Abhay Singh Chautala; Congress’ Pawan Beniwal; and BJP‘s Gobind Kanda are in fray for the Ellenabad seat. (HT File)
Published on Oct 15, 2021 01:05 AM IST
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BySunil Rahar, Rohtak

The three farm laws enacted by the Union government last year, water issues and unemployment are the key topics being taken up ahead of the Ellenabad bypoll (October 30).

The Opposition parties – the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Congress – are raising the issue of farmers’ stir against three farm laws while the ruling BJP has been making promises of providing canal water for irrigating the fields and ensuring development of the constituency.

The agrarian community in the constituency is talking about farm laws, paddy procurement, damaged cotton crop, dilapidated roads, rise of drug cases among youth, canal water, rise in prices of diesel and shortage of fertilisers, etc.

While canvassing in the Ellenabad constituency, INLD’s Abhay Singh Chautala, who is seeking fourth consecutive term from the rural dominated seat, said this is not an election to elect an MLA but to give a referendum against the Centre’s three farm laws.

“The Congress had given birth to these farm laws and the previous Haryana government led by former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had adopted contract farming law by allotting land on lease to Ambani and Adani. The BJP has enacted the laws proposed by the previous Congress government and it is the right time to teach them a lesson,” he said.

“More than 700 farmers have lost their lives but the government is still adamant and not accepting the farmers’ demands. The ruling government has resorted to lathi-charge on farmers on eight occasions and farmers will not forget this,” he added.

Ellenabad constituency is witnessing third bypoll since 1967 after the formation of Haryana. On previous two occasions, Om Prakash Chautala in 1970 and his son Abhay Singh Chautala in 2010 had won from this seat.

No family member of the Chautala clan has faced defeat from here and the INLD has been on the winning side here since 1996.

Meanwhile, Abhay Chautala’s former aide and Congress nominee Pawan Beniwal has been attacking him and the rulling BJP for “betraying the voters”.

“Farmers have been camping on Delhi borders for a long time and the Union government is not paying heed to their demands. The farmers are facing irrigation and drinking water problems and Abhay Chautala has failed to sort out these issues. The roads are also in a dilapidated state. The voters have decided to get rid of Abhay Chautala,” Pawan said, while canvassing in his constituency on Wednesday.

Pawan is also banking on the Beniwal clan and appealing to them to elect their “son” as the next MLA from Ellenabad.

But, experts believe, his uncle and former Darba Kalan MLA Jagdish Beniwal and his wife Vidya Devi (ex-Rajya Sabha MP and former Darba MLA) are a cause of problem for him as they are still associated with the INLD.

On the other hand, BJP nominee Gobind Kanda and his brother Gopal Kanda, an MLA from Sirsa, have launched high-level canvassing in village. They are facing protests from farmers but still are able to make their speeches in villages.

Gobind Kanda said the BJP government has fulfilled 20-year-long demand of farmers by releasing water in Dhani Sheranwali distributary canal and this will help in irrigating fields.

“The BJP-JJP coalition has given a transparent government and Haryana is the only state in country to procure 11 crops on the minimum support price. Some people are misleading people over the farmers’ issues. The BJP has in fact, strengthened the farmers. Chautala has dragged people in a bypoll which has no major significance on the government’s performance,” he added.

As per information, INLD supremo OP Chautala, Congress’ former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, and the ruling government’s star campaigners, led by chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, deputy CM Dushyant Chautala and other senior leaders, will start canvassing for their nominees from next week.

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Monday, December 06, 2021