BJP starts ‘Tiranga Yatra’, farmers counter it with mahapanchayat
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) kicked off its much-hyped ‘Tiranga Yatra’, a 40-kilometre journey on tractors from Bhiwani’s Behal to Loharu town, on Sunday.
The yatra received a massive response, especially from BJP’s youth workers. It is for the first time since November last year that the saffron party, which has been facing protests from farmers agitating against the Centre’s farm laws, managed a show of strength in the Jat-dominated belt.
The farmers decided against staging a protest against the BJP for fear of being labeled as anti-national, and instead decided to counter it with a mahapanchayat in Behal, the town where the BJP started its rally from.
Massive turnout shows support for BJP policies: Dhankar
State party chief OP Dhankar and Haryana agriculture minister JP Dalal led the Tiranga yatra in which people came on tractors with the Tricolour in their hands. The party plans to hold similar yatras in all 90 constituencies of the state till August 15.
Addressing gatherings during the rally, Dhankar said, “We will hold similar yatras in all assembly constituencies to pay homage to freedom fighters. In the process, we will try to connect with the people.”
He added, “The massive response we are receiving proves that farmers and youths agree with the policies of the BJP government.”
Haryana agriculture minister JP Dalal said, “A few left-leaning leaders are trying to influence farmers against the three farm laws, which are beneficial to the agrarian community. Thousands of people have come on their tractors to take part in this Tiranga yatra. Are these people not farmers? A few people with political agenda are protesting against us.”
Farmers to start a counter ‘Tiranga Yatras’ on foot
Though BJP leaders did not face any protests on Sunday, owing to BKU leader Rakesh Tikait’s appeal, the farmers plan to counter all such yatras in the coming days. During the mahapanchayat in Behal town, farmers passed several resolutions to counter BJP’s Tiranga Yatra. The resolutions include banning Dalal’s entry into his constituency (Loharu), formation of Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) committees in villages and at district-level, starting a farmer-led Tiranga yatra on foot, formation of a coordination committee at Bhiwani’s Kitlana toll plaza and awareness programmes in every village.
Addressing the mahapanchayat, All Indian Kisan Sabha state secretary said Balbir Thakan agriculture minister JP Dalal started the ‘Tiranga Yatra’ to create a division among people. “We have decided not to protest against the BJP’s yatra as it was held to paint protesters as anti-national. The BJP has been playing the nationalism card against farmers agitating against the three farm laws. We will continue to protest against BJP leaders’ entry into villages. They played the nationalism card to enter the villages,” he added.