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Monday, January 25, 2021

BJP’s SYL fast faces farmers’ ire, leaders forced to leave venue

Sensing opposition by the farmers, heavy police force was deployed at and near the park where a group of BJP men, headed by district party president Baldev Groha, were sitting on fast.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: December 20, 2020 3:20:02 am
Farmers protest, Farmers tractor march on jan 26, Jan 26 farmers protests, Farm unions call for tractor parade, Republic day, India news, Indian expressThe proposed parade will be called "Kisan Parade" and it will be be held after the Republic Day parade. (Express)

The protesting farmers Saturday forced the BJP members to leave the venue of their fast on the issue of SYL at Fatehabad town. The agitators gheored the local leaders of BJP and the police had to provide a security cover to them so that they could leave the venue safely.

The BJP lodged a police complaint against the farmers in this regard.

To demand completion of the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, the BJP leaders had announced a fast at district headquarters in Haryana. However, terming it “a game to divide farmers of Punjab and Haryana”, the farmers on their tractor-trolleys reached the venue at Fatehabad.

Sensing opposition by the farmers, heavy police force was deployed at and near the park where a group of BJP men, headed by district party president Baldev Groha, were sitting on fast. The police had erected barricades to ensure an uninterrupted event. However, soon hundreds of farmers gathered near the venue and started raising slogans against the three farm laws. They moved to the venue by breaking police barricades. Getting information, Fatehabad SP Rajesh Kumar rushed to the spot.

With growing number of farmers, the police told the BJP leaders to change the venue to avoid confrontation. Amid increasing tension, the BJP men left the venue. But the farmers kept following them raising slogans. Under heavy security cover, the police ensured safe exit of senior BJP leaders by arranging a vehicle for him. “We maintained law and order and ensured no untoward incident takes place,” SP Rajesh Kumar told The Indian Express.

As soon as the BJP men left the venue, the farmers staged a protest. None of the three MLAs from the district –Dura Ram (BJP), Lakshman Napa (BJP) and Devender Babli (JJP) — joined the BJP event.

The BJP workers who were forced to leave the park went to the district party office in the town to resume the fast amid deployment of heavy police force there.

The BJP district president alleged that the protesters were sent by the Opposition to disturb their event. “We had plans to sit on fast on the issue of SYL peacefully. We too want water for the farmers of Haryana. We don’t want any confrontation and changed the venue to observe fast,” Groha said.

However, a farmer said, “The farmers had come to stage protest peacefully. We asked the BJP men to explain benefits of three farm laws. But they ran away. The issue of SYL is being raised to break unity of the farmers of Punjab and Haryana who are jointly fighting against the black laws. If they wanted to bring water of SYL, why did not they bring it during six-year term of their government.”

The farmers staged a protest in Yamunanagar too where the BJP men had sat on fast on the issue of SYL. At some places, the BJP men preferred to observe fast at their offices to avoid protests of farmers. “If the Punjab farmers consider Haryana farmers as their younger brother, they should undertake digging to complete construction of SYL,” Haryana BJP president Om Prakash Dhankar said at Jhajjar after joining the fast.

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