After threatening to quit NDA, ally RLP joins farmers’ protest at Shahjahanpur
A large number of supporters of the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP), an ally of the NDA, on Saturday joined the farmers’ protest being held on the Jaipur-Delhi National Highway in Shahjahanpur of Alwar district along the Rajasthan-Haryana border.
At about 3.00 pm on Saturday afternoon, hundreds of vehicles reached the border from Kotputli area of Jaipur rural. The RLP workers have put up a separate pandal on the highway next to the farmers supporting RLP.
“I request the Central government not to play with fire. Any government who has dared to go against the people has been dethroned. Because of this act agriculture mandis will end, why didn’t the government consult the farmers? Because of these laws, land mafias will increase. I don’t understand why the government is not withdrawing the farm laws,” said RLP chief Hanuman Beniwal at the protest site.
He said he was the son of a farmer but the Central government wants to muscle down the farmers’ protest. “This (farmer protest) is the issue of sustenance and pride of farmers and we are standing with them,” he said.
Earlier, RLP chief Hanuman Beniwal had threatened to quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) if the three farm laws were not repealed. But, he did not make any such announcement on Saturday.
On Friday, farmers from Maharashtra had also reached Shajahanpur to lend their support to those protesting farmers against the three farm laws. The farmers had covered a distance of 900 km since Monday, after they undertook their journey from Nashik.
Addressing famers at the protest site in Shahjahanpur, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Joginder Singh said the prime minister doesn’t care for the children of farmers. “He only cares for the children of a few corporates. He does not understand us,” he said.
“BJP is calling us Khalistani and Pakistanis. Shame on them. Each of us are from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. We have seen bodies of freedom fighters and soldiers who died for the country. Senior judges, officers, people’s representatives, are coming to our protests and telling us that they support us. The regime is crumbling,” Singh said.
National President of Kisan Mahapanchayat, Rampal Jat, said on the lines of the Singhu border protest, the farmers’ movement in Rajasthan has progressed. “Peace is our strength. A large number of farmers have started coming to the border. The march towards Delhi will be held peacefully,” he added.
Due to increasing number of farmers at the border, the traffic jam on the highway has increased and traffic has been diverted to new routes connecting Jaipur and with the national capital. While coming from Jaipur to Shahjahanpur, traffic has been diverted from four places in between. Similarly, vehicles coming from Delhi are diverted from Bawal. Due to this, the pressure of heavy vehicles has increased on the second road leading out from the highway.
Farmers from Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat had started proceeding towards Delhi earlier this month but were stopped by the Rewari police at the Haryana-Rajasthan border. Since then, they have been protesting at Shahjahanpur in Alwar district, near the Rajasthan-Haryana border.