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As Sidhu faces farmers’ ire over ‘thirsty’ remark, unions say their directions only for BJP leaders

While expressing his desire to meet the leaders of the farmers' unions, Sidhu had last week said that "the thirsty walks to the well. The well does not go to the thirsty.” His comment has not gone down well with the agitating farmers and there were protests against him in many parts of Punjab.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
July 27, 2021 12:15:10 pm
Sources said political rivalry can also not be ruled out where rivals holding flags of unions are protesting against the PPCC chief. (File photo)

THOUGH THE Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has directed farmers to protest against BJP and its allied parties’ leaders, ever since he became Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president, Navjot Singh Sidhu too has been a target.

Sidhu first faced a protest at Khatkarkalan on July 20, where he had gone to pay respects at Bhagat Singh’s memorial. Farmers from the Doaba Kisan Union had protested against him, saying that he should not make false promises at a martyr’s memorial, and waved black flags at the convoy. On July 22, Sidhu changed his route to reach Mehmoodpur village in Tarn Taran due to a protest by the Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee ( KMSC)

On July 24, when he went to Chamkaur Sahib in Ropar district, he faced yet another agitation.

While expressing his desire to meet the leaders of the farmers’ unions, Sidhu had last week said that “the thirsty walks to the well. The well does not go to the thirsty.” His comment has not gone down well with the agitating farmers and there were protests against him in many parts of Punjab.

Dr Darshan Pal, president of the Krantikari Kisan Union and member of SKM, said, “Our directions all over India are to protest against BJP and its allied parties leaders. However Sidhu’s recent remark was not appreciated by farmers. Hence perhaps they are protesting on their own against him. We have not given any such direction. SKM can even discuss this issue in the meeting. But politicians also need to think twice before making statements.”

Prof Jagmohan Singh Patiala, general secretary of BKU Dakaunda, said: “Our directions are only for BJP leaders. But Sidhu’s recent remarks need to be condemned. He must apologise for the statement as farmers are angry.”

Sources said political rivalry can also not be ruled out where rivals holding flags of unions are protesting against the PPCC chief.

Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, general secretary of BKU Ugrahan, said, “Our one point direction is to protest in a peaceful manner against BJP leaders.The same way as Arjun’s target in Mahabharata. However, at times, villagers get upset over statements of politicians and hence protest against them.it is just not Sidhu who faced protest, many Congress leaders in Moga faced protests on a regular basis. Over time, people have realised that politicians are the same as they have given enough chances to SAD, Congress and even BJP. Hence one should not be surprised by such protests.”

Veerpal Singh Dhillon, vice-president of BKU Kadian said, “We have the right to ask questions to each and every politician. Perhaps farmers wanted to have a question- answer session with Sidhu, which was denied by police, due to which they lodged a protest. However SKM’s directions are only for BJP leaders as we want to put all our pressure on BJP and its allied parties to get farm laws repealed.”

Meanwhile, though union leaders said farmers protested against Sidhu because of his statement given on July 23, he has faced protests before that as well. Sarwan Singh Pandher, general secretary of KMSC, said, “Sidhu remained indoors all these months. Now as he has assumed a big role in the party, it is obvious that he may face protests at places because people are fed up with all political parties in Punjab. However, we still tell our members that our focus should be to protest against only BJP leaders and we can question other parties’ leaders. At times, people from other political parties also come to a protest and try to settle personal scores.hence we don’t want our aandolan to get hit, we need to stay cautious and see that no unscrupulous elements are part of these protests.”

 

 

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