Farmers during an ongoing protest against the new farm laws, at the Delhi-Ghazipur border in New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI)
Farmers during an ongoing protest against the new farm laws, at the Delhi-Ghazipur border in New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI)

No invite to BJP leaders for any function till farm laws scrapped: UP panchayat

Meanwhile, a meeting of BJP MPs and MLAs of western UP was held at the residence of union minister Sanjeev Baliyan in Muzaffarnagar; they resolved to approach Khaps and farmers to brief them about the three new farm laws
By S Raju
PUBLISHED ON FEB 18, 2021 08:26 AM IST

A panchayat of farmers held at the Bharatiya Kisan Union’s (BKU) headquarters in Sisauli (Muzaffarnagar) appealed to people to not invite Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders to any family function or programme till the prevailing deadlock between farmers and government ends.

Meanwhile, a meeting of BJP MPs and MLAs of western UP was held at the residence of union minister Sanjeev Baliyan in Muzaffarnagar; they resolved to approach Khaps and farmers to brief them about the three new farm laws and to get their feedback and concerns.

The directive given by BKU chief Naresh Tikait in the Sisauli meeting is likely to discomfit the BJP, which has been facing a tough time in the region due to the ongoing farmers’ movement.

Also Read | Farmers’ protest: Delhi borders closed, traffic diverted to avoid jams

Chaudhary Digamber Singh, state president of BKU’s youth wing, told HT that BKU chief Naresh Tikait had advised people to not send “chitthi” ( invitations) to BJP leaders for any programme till the impasse ended.

BKU’s district president in Muzaffarnagar Dheeraj Latiyan also confirmed this and explained, “ He said this to protect BJP leaders from possible harassment and misbehavior by people in the wake of the ongoing farmers’ movement”. The panchayat in Sisauli went on for over four hours in which different aspects of the movement and issue of no increase in sugarcane rate were discussed.

Meanwhile, after the meeting, Baliyan said that the discussion was regarding the farmers’ movement. He said that they had decided to approach Khaps and farmers to brief them about the farm laws. “Reservations and doubts of farmers will be cleared and their feedback will be sent to senior leaders and government. If the laws have any flaws then they will be corrected,” he said, reiterating that the farmers didn’t explain what was wrong in the new laws. On being asked about the government’s readiness to bring some amendments, he said, “The farmer leaders didn’t mention anything about amendments. Their only demand is to ‘ repeal’ the laws.”

The minister said that western UP only had gur ( jaggery) mandi and the state government had already exempted it from 2.5% mandi tax. Therefore, the agricultural produce market committee (APMC) had no impact here. Replying to a question about the dilution of Essential Commodities Act in the laws, which could encourage hoarding, he said, “We will give the government the feedback we receive and act as per the directions of the party”.

Reacting to this, Digamber Singh said that it was too late for BJP leaders to have a dialogue with farmers.

Latiyan said, “Instead of talking to farmers they should work on finding a solution to the issue. It would be better if they convince the government to repeal the farm laws.”

Rashtriya Lok Dal’s regional president Chaudhary Yashbeer Singh said that farmers would not fall prey to such gimmicks because they were extremely annoyed “at the way the Prime Minister mocked farmers in Parliament and used objectionable words for the ongoing movement.”

Besides, over 200 farmers had died so far and the BJP leaders had not said even a single word of condolence. They had rubbed salt in the farmers’ wounds by not increasing the rate of sugarcane in the past three years, he said.

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