‘Bye-bye. We’re quitting!’ RLP pulls out of NDA over farm bills says chief Beniwal - Hindustan Times
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‘Bye-bye. We’re quitting!’ RLP pulls out of NDA over farm bills says chief Beniwal

Hindustan Times, Jaipur | ByJaykishan Sharma | Edited by Sparshita Saxena
Dec 26, 2020 08:17 PM IST

While addressing farmers’ rally in Shahjahanpur in Alwar, Rajasthan, Beniwal said, “Bye-bye. We are quitting NDA. Nothing is above the pride of farmers in the country.”

After Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Rashtriya Loktantric Party (RLP) chief Hanuman Beniwal also walked out of National Democratic Alliance on Saturday. While addressing farmers’ rally in Shahjahanpur in Rajasthan’s Alwar district, Beniwal said, “Bye-bye. We are quitting NDA. Nothing is above the pride of farmers in the country.”

Rashtriya Loktantric Party (RLP) chief Hanuman Beniwal in Jaipur.(HT Photo)
Rashtriya Loktantric Party (RLP) chief Hanuman Beniwal in Jaipur.(HT Photo)

State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Mukesh Pareekh said that Beniwal’s party is an independent party and a one man’s unit. “Just because of him, the BJP left the parliamentary seat from Nagaur and helped him in winning the election,” he said.

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“Earlier, he had supported the agri laws but now just to gain political mileage he had quit the alliance,” Pareekh added.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in September had also pulled out of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition at the Centre over the passage of contentious farm bills passed in Parliament earlier this month.

Also read: ‘Wake up’ - Digvijaya Singh calls upon Congress members to join farmers’ stir

Thousands of RLP supporters joined the farmers protest on Saturday on Jaipur-Delhi National Highway in Shahjahanpur along the Rajasthan-Haryana border.

Around 3 pm on Saturday, hundreds of vehicles had reached the border from Kotputli area of Jaipur rural. The RLP workers had put up a separate pandal on the stretch from where the farmers have been protesting on the highway for 14-days.

“I request the central government to not play with flames. Any government who has dared to go against has been dethroned. Because of this act, agriculture mandis will end. Why didn’t the government consult the farmers? Because of this act land mafias raj will increase. I don’t understand why is the government not rolling back the laws,” said Beniwal at the protest site.

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Calling himself a son of a farmer, Beniwal said he had always supported them. “The central government is in the mood to muscle down the farmers’ protest. But this is the issue of sustenance and pride of farmers and we are standing with them,” he said.

Last week, the disappointed RLP chief, who is a Lok Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) from Nagaur, resigned from three parliament committees in support of farmer’s issue.

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 at Rajasthan-Haryana border.

RLP in Rajasthan

The party has a Member of Parliament from Nagaur (Hanuman Beniwal) and three MLAs from Merta, Khinvsar and Bhopalgarh assembly constituencies. The RLP, which was formed before the 2018 assembly elections, had fielded candidates on 57 constituencies, won three and received a vote of share of 2.40 per cent.

The party contested in alliance with the BJP on Nagaur Lok Sabha seat in 2019, thereafter on Khinvsar bypolls.

The decision of breaking tie will not have much of an impact on the NDA. The BJP in Rajasthan is in opposition with 71 MLAs - far below the majority figure.

Though RLP chief Beniwal is a vocal detractor of chief minister Ashok Gehlot and ex-CM Vasundhara Raje but if Gehlot woo him, it may consolidate his position in circumstances that arise during political crisis in Rajasthan.

The BTP with two MLAs has already withdrawn its support from the Congress. If the RLP becomes a Congress ally, it will offset the impact caused by the BTP.

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