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Saturday, January 16, 2021

With home support, farm stir gains strength in Haryana, toll plazas made free for 2nd day

Farmers also intensify protest agains JJP leaders, gherao state party chief’s residence at his village in Fatehabad.

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh | December 27, 2020 9:36:07 am
With home support, farm stir gains strength in Haryana, toll plazas made free for 2nd dayThree farmers look on during the ongoing protests against the three farm laws at Singhu border in Delhi, on Saturday. (Express photo by Gajendra Yadav)

With more people joining their ongoing agitation in Haryana, the farmers ensured that no fee was collected from vehicles at toll plazas on national highways for the second day on Saturday. The farmers said they will make movement through toll plazas free on Sunday too.

A large number of farmers now move to the protest venues daily in Haryana to raise their voice against three farm laws. A top leader of Jananayak Janata Party (JJP), which is ruling Haryana in alliance with the BJP, while requesting anonymity told The Indian Express that “there is wave against the farm laws and I don’t think anybody will be able to stop it now”. “Even after 30 days of protests, this janandolan continues to increase. I feel the government has to retreat,” he added.

The comments came with the farmers taking on the JJP leaders more aggressively by gheraoing their residences and offices in different parts of the state. The BJP leaders too are facing similar protests. On Saturday, the farmers gathered at Bahal town of Bhiwani to plan opposition to the proposed rally of the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in the town on Sunday.

However, the CM’s meeting has already been postponed with state Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister JP Dalal claiming it was done keeping in the civic body elections scheduled on Sunday. On Saturday, Khattar did not go to Bhiwani too where he was scheduled to inaugurate a building at Chaudhary Bansi Lal University. He inaugurated the building through online mode. An official source from the university said the CM’s visit was postponed keeping in view the farmers’ agitation. However, a spokesperson from Dalal’s office claimed there was already a programme of inauguration of the building through online mode only. Khattar had faced a major protest in Ambala recently where the angry farmers had showed him black flags.

The protesters Saturday gheraoed residence of Haryana JJP president Nishan Singh at his native village Mamupur in Fatehabad district asking him to withdraw the support from BJP-JJP government. They said the JJP had won 10 seats in 2019 Assembly polls mainly because of votes from farming community.

Getting information about the farmers’ protest, heavy police force was deployed in front of the residence of JJP leader. Nishan Singh told The Indian Express that he had gone to Panipat to attend some functions. “This is not the matter of state government but of the Centre. If the Bills are not acceptable to farmers, the Centre should listen to their point of view seriously to resolve the matter instead of countering them,” said the JJP leader.

Now, the farmers are taking on those BJP-JJP leaders too who have given statements in favour of their agitation and concerns. In fact, the farmers now want the MLAs and MPs to withdraw support from the ruling dispensation in Haryana and Centre instead of mere lip service.

Haryana Bhartiya Kisan Union president Gurnam Singh Chaduni took on Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala and BJP leader and former Union Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh. Dushyant is great grandson of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal and Birender Singh is grandson of Sir Chhotu Ram, a peasants’ leader. “We salute both (Devi Lal and Sir Chhotu Ram) but Dushyant has disgraced Chaudhary Devi Lal. Sir Chhotu Ram’s grandson has disgraced him. Both of them (Dushyant and Birender) are busy in politics,” said Chaduni at a toll plaza near a Jind village.

The area is called “the land of Banger” which is known as stronghold of Dushyant and Birender Singh. There was a competition among the farmers to get selfies clicked with Chaduni, who is leading the agitation in the state.

Chaduni said, “Dushyant has already seen the results whether the public is with the farmers or not. He was saying the people of Haryana are not participating in the agitation. Khattar had seen (the protest) in Ambala.”

Chaduni was referring to digging of helipad by farmers ahead of the Dushyant’s vist to Uchana Kalan recently.

Chaduni is visiting the protest venues at toll plazas where hundreds of farmers gather to stage protests. At many dharna venues, the protesters are displaying photos of Bhagat Singh.

“We had given a call for toll free movement of vehicles for three days to send a signal that don’t sell this country to capital forces who are looting our country. This is battle between public versus corporate. Country’s airports, ports, banks, companies (PSUs) and roads have already been sold. The Union Budget too has been sold to the corporates. In past 20 years, as many as 3.5 lakh farmers have committed suicides but there is no budget provision to waive off their debt. This is not an agitation but dharma yudh to save those who will turn hungry because of these laws. The hunger doesn’t see caste, religion or area,” said the farmer leader.

“Because of these three black laws, the entire agriculture business will go to the corporates. This is a battle between rajhath and public…Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not understanding the message. Our struggle is not against the police or officers. I would like to urge the farmers not to confront with the police or officers but the politicians be opposed strongly by not allowing them to enter the villages,” added Chaduni.

Haryana farmers make arrangements for 30,000 Punjab farmers in Jind

With thousands of Punjab farmers planning to move to Delhi, the Haryana farmers say they have made arrangements for at least 30,000 people at three villages near Jind town. A larger number of farmers mainly in tractor-trolleys reached Jind Saturday.

Arrangements have been made for their food and night halt. The protesters are hoping that around 30,000 more Punjab farmers will move to Delhi borders from Jind on Sunday. “The brotherhood has increased between the farmers of Punjab and Haryana. It’s our responsibility to give full respect to our brothers from Punjab. The residents of three villages, Jhanj Khurd, Jhanj Kalan and Barodi have contributed to make arrangements for the Punjab farmers,” said a Haryana farmer.

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