Updated: September 16, 2021 1:56:44 pm
The ongoing agitation against the central agri laws has moved beyond the agenda with which it had initially begun and has now become “totally political” with nothing to do with farmers’ welfare, Haryana BJP president Om Prakash Dhankar Monday said.
“Farmers had started with a specific agenda, which they have left behind now. I am not saying this, but it is evident from their own statements. Be it the statements of (BKU-Rajewal chief Balbir Singh) Rajewal ji or (BKU Ekta Ugrahan president Joginder Singh) Ugrahan,” Dhankar said.
The BJP leader said the original agenda behind the farmers’ agitation was to seek improvements in the farm laws.
“These farm union leaders (who are part of the ongoing agitation) initially said they wanted some improvements in the three laws. But when that issue came up, they changed track and remained adamant on demand for repeal of these laws,” he said, adding the protesters were opposing the laws only for the sake of opposing them.
Reacting to the announcement by a section of farm union leaders that they will boycott BJP in the upcoming Assembly polls, Dhankar said, “.one thing is clear that this agitation has become totally political. It has got nothing to do with farmers’ issues. Because the agitation has crossed the point where farmers’ interests were being discussed”.
“The BJP exercised extreme restraint in dealing with the ongoing agitation. Even those who are protesting should stay within their limits. If they have the right to protest, others too have the right to carry on with their activities. The government is functioning with extreme patience. It is the government’s first priority that no incident of confrontation takes place,” he added.
Thousands of farmers have continued to protest at Delhi’s borders for past nearly 10 months demanding the repeal of the three laws, which they are afraid will do away with the MSP system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations. Over 10 rounds of talks with the central government that has been projecting the laws as major agricultural reforms have failed to break the deadlock between the two parties.
Dhankar, a former agriculture minister, asserted that the central government has always kept its doors open for dialogue and continues to do so. “For the government, farmers’ interest is above all,” he said, adding the BJP-led government in Haryana too has taken several pro-farmer initiatives during the last nearly seven years.
Taking a dig at the opposition Congress, he said some of their leaders have been attacking the Haryana government on the farmers issue in spite of several pro-farmer measures undertaken by the present dispensation, but they must ask their party-ruled regimes in neighbouring states what have they done in comparison. “Haryana gives the highest compensation for crop damage. We procure bajra at Rs 2,250 (per quintal), why don’t they ask their government in Rajasthan to procure at the same rate. For four years, sugarcane rates were not increased in Congress-ruled Punjab,” he claimed, adding it was only now that the Punjab government has revised the rates for sugarcane “and has come near us”.
While Haryana procures 10 crops at MSP, why does the Congress not ask its party-ruled neighbouring states to procure as many crops, he asked while accusing the Congress of putting the Swaminathan Commission report recommendations on the backburner for eight years when they were in power at the Centre.
He further claimed farmers in Haryana were happy with the schemes of the present government and said, “agitation by one or two organisations” cannot be called a stir by the entire farming community.
Dhankar was speaking at a news conference here and gave details about the BJP’s 20-day “seva and samarpan” campaign comprising various welfare activities to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “two decades in public service”.
As the prime minister will be turning 71 on September 17, the BJP will hold blood donation camps at 71 places in the haryana and plant 71,000 trees in cities and villages, Dhankar said.
He said in the coming 20 days, the party will hold virtual discussions on Centre’s 71 achievements.
Dhankar said the reconstitution of booth-level units shall conclude by October 1. “From September 29 to October 1, we will hold sammelans for newly constituted booth-level units in all 90 Assembly constituencies.” he said.
He also announced that at least 100 letters of gratitude will be collected from each booth as part of the “Thank you campaign” for the Prime Minister. “We shall also hold seminars on freedom fighters, including Subhash Chandra Bose, and also on PM Modi. Similarly, seminars will be held on the enhanced global stature of our nation, farmers’ welfare policies introduced during Modi’s tenure, the country’s weapons procurement policies that enabled us to enter the enemy’s territory, social security, vaccination programme during the Covid-19 pandemic, youth affairs and economic development in the last seven years.”
“We will also hold campaigns on completion of two years of tenure in Haryana from October 1 and thank CM Manohar Lal Khattar on 27 prominent achievements of our government in Haryana in the last seven years. till October 27,” Dhankar said.
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