Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislators have been in the thick of things at the farmers’ protests on the outskirts of Delhi. From travelling in tractor trolleys with farmers, doing langar sewa at Singhu and Tikri border to mobilising cash relief for farmers who died during the agitations, the MLAs have been doing it all.
AAP MLAs have been visiting dharna sites in batches and the latest batch of five MLAs returned to Punjab a couple of days ago. Led by the Kisan Wing president of the state unit and Kotkapura MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan, these MLAs have been ascertaining the problems faced by farmers during the day and helping them.
Sandhwan, along with fellow MLAs Jai Kishen Rori, Kulwant Singh Pandori, Amarjeet Singh Sandoa and Manjit Singh Bilaspur, had been camping at the Delhi border near the Guru Teg Bahadur Memorial.
“I went on November 26 and came back today to my home. A couple of days later I will go back again. All AAP MLAs from Punjab have been visiting the dharna sites and have been helping farmers in our private capacity,” said Sandhwan.
He added that the MLAs take care of any requirements of the farmers pertaining to toilets, water supply, sanitation and medicines and liaison officers have been deputed to deal with the Delhi government for any requirements.
“We had also gone to Burari and set up kitchens initially. At the Tikri and Singhu borders, the state in-charge, Jarnail Singh, and Delhi Jal Board Chairman Raghav Chadha have been appointed nodal officers. We have also been running a permanent langar at the Guru Teg Bahadur Memorial. We are getting a lot of support from Haryana farmers; financially, morally, tactically,” said Sandhwan.
AAP MLA from Budhlada, Budh Ram, had proceeded towards the protest site along with farmers in a tractor-trolley. “We have been raising the farmers’ concerns right from the beginning. Our national convenor Arvind Kejriwal has asked us to facilitate the farmers as a ‘sevadar’ and do ‘seva’ and not as politicians,” Sandhwan
Punjab Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema has also spent ten days at the dharna sites on the Delhi border. He said that all MLAs of the party are regularly visiting dharna sites and helping farmers in whatever way they can. The party has also raised several lakhs as compensation for those who have died at the protest sites in the past few days.
During the period of protests, two dissident MLAs of the party have come back to the party fold. Ropar MLA, Amarjit Singh Sandoa and Raikot MLA Jagtar Singh Hissowal have re-joined the party. Sandoa had joined the Congress while Hissowal had been associated with the outfit floated by rebel AAP MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira.
Commenting on the development, Cheema said it was good that the dissident MLAs have come back. “We have kept our arms open. Negative politics has spoilt atmosphere. We think more people will come back,” he said.
Meanwhile, expressing solidarity with the call given by farmers, AAP would lay siege to district headquarters across Punjab on December 14 against the new agrarian laws introduced by the Centre.
Announcing the party’s wholehearted support to the call given by farmers, state unit president and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann said that the BJP-led Modi government at the Centre is toeing a policy of repression against the people “and is turning the world’s strongest democracy into a dictatorship”.
Mann said that the farmers, farm labourers, commission agents, traders and all other sections of people have been forced to take to streets against the contentious laws pushed by the Modi government to give a free run to its favourite corporate houses. He added that instead of acceding to the just demands of the farmers, the Centre was adopting repressive measures to crush their farmers’ agitation.
Bhagwant Mann said that AAP had been opposing the “black” laws since the day the ordinances were issued and would stand shoulder to shoulder with the farmers till they are revoked.
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