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Not given stage at stir site, Congress to hold parallel dharna at Jantar Mantar

The source added that the participation will start from Saturday as Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh was holding a function in Mohali on Friday to hand over mobile phones to beneficiaries of state government’s free smart phone scheme.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh | December 18, 2020 10:00:55 am
New Delhi: Congress MP's from Punjab Jasbir Singh Gill (L), Gurjit Singh Aujla (C), along with others sit on a dharna demanding the withdrawal of new farm laws and to hold the Winter Session of Parliament, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi (PTI)

At a time when the farmers’ agitation is about to complete three months, Punjab Congress has decided to ensure participation of party MLAs from the state in a parallel dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.

A few party MPs including Ravneet Singh Bittu, GS Aujla and Jasbir Singh Dimpa have already been sitting on a round-the-clock dharna at Jantar Mantar for last 10 days. As the farmers do not allow any political leaders to share stage with them, the party has decided to lodge its protest against Centre’s agri laws and express solidarity with farmers by sitting in a parallel chain dharna at Jantar Mantar.

For this, PPCC chief Sunil Jakhar Thursday wrote a letter to all party legislators. “We are calling up legislators and asking for their availability. From Saturday onwards, two MLAs each, will be sitting on the dharna for two days at the Jantar Mantar. Two more will join after next two days and keep the chain going,” said a source close to Jakhar.

The party had recently organised a protest at Shambhu border with workers from across the state participating in it. The Congress has been internally feeling that the leaders and workers were not as aggressive as they should have been amid farmers’ agitation. “The reason was farmers’ reaction to presence of political leaders. The farmers had made it clear that they would not allow any political leader to be a part of their dharna. Hence, the Congress workers were also not aggressive in coming out,’’ said a leader.

During the dharna at Shambhu border, Jakhar had asked party workers to raise slogans hailing the Congress stating they had nothing to be on the defensive. He had stated that the Shiromani Akali Dal should be on the defensive on the issue of farm laws as it had been in complicity with the Centre on the issue.

Internally, the ruling party had also been feeling that it had not done enough to make a show of its participation on the farmers’ issues. Party MLA Amarinder Singh Raja Warring had taken to a tractor show on his own when he had gone to Delhi from his constituency Gidderbaha alongwith his supporters.

The party had started protesting aggressively against the farm laws when former AICC chief Rahul Gandhi had visited Punjab to hold a tractor rally spanning over three days.

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