To avoid Jat backlash, Nadda, Shah discuss farm stir with leaders
The senior Bharatiya Janata Party leadership on Tuesday held a meeting with legislators and MPs from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan to chalk out a strategy to prevent the ongoing farmers’ stir from stoking unrest among the Jat community, which is part of the party’s support base in the northern states.
At the meeting, chaired by party chief JP Nadda, which was attended by home minister Amit Shah and agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar, the MLAs and MPs were directed to counter the “misinformation campaign” on the laws.
The leaders were asked to submit a feedback, a person familiar with the details of the meeting said. “The party is concerned by the implications that a Jat stir can have on the fate of the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana and on the outcome of the elections in Western UP,” a functionary said.
In Haryana, the BJP with its 40 legislators in the 90-member assembly runs a coalition government with JJP, which counts Jats as its main vote-bank.
“The farmers’ stir has put a strain on the alliance as JJP is under pressure from the Jat Panchayats to walk out. Several JJP leaders have already demanded the repeal of the farm laws and a protracted agitation will not augur well for the government,” the functionary explained.
Last week, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra attended a Kisan Mahapanchayat in UP.
In UP, the party wants to placate the community ahead of the polls as at least 73 seats in the western region of the state are considered to hold the key to the chief minister’s chair. “The government has maintained from the beginning that it is ready for talks but the farmers have to tell us where they think the laws will hurt them,” a minister said.