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‘Villagers call and tell us not to visit; I was born in a farmer’s home. I am also hurt’: JJP MLA questions own govt

Speaking in the Vidhan Sabha, JJP MLA from Tohana Babli Devenderm, considered close to Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, said the social and political boycott of MLAs has emerged as major problem.

Babli Devender. (Source: Devender Babli/Facebook)

A member of the ruling BJP-JJP alliance in Haryana Monday gave voice to the “pain” that he and other MLAs stating how entire villages were boycotting them in their own constituencies in solidarity with the ongoing farmers’ agitation against the agri bills.

Speaking in the Vidhan Sabha, JJP MLA from Tohana Babli Devenderm, considered close to Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, said the social and political boycott of MLAs has emerged as major problem.

Aaj jab hum gaon mein nikalte hain, toh phone aate hain ke bhai saab gaon mein mat aana. Jabki hamaara ek samaajik or dharmik programme hai ya hamaara koi social byaah shaadiyon mein aana jaana hai, hum kehte hain ke bhai jab aap hamein invite hi nahi karna chaahte, ya hamaari social or rajneetik duties aap hamein nahi nibhaane dena chaahte, toh hum nahi aayenge. Samasya hai. (Nowadays when we go to villages, we get phone calls saying don’t come to our village. Be it social or religious events, or a wedding we have to attend. We said that since you don’t want to invite us, since you don’t want us to fulfill our social or political responsibilities, we will not come. It is an issue).”

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While Babli was speaking, Dushyant mother and JJP legislator Naina Chautala was in the Speaker’s chair on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

Babli said, “Today, BJP is running the Haryana government with the support of JJP. That farmers are out on the roads of Haryana is a serious matter and an issue of concern. These legislations were made by Union government. I would not hesitate…we are part of this government. But the circumstances that are currently prevailing in Haryana are not in the interest of the state. Because, the manner in which farmers are sitting on Delhi’s borders…it has been over 100 days our mothers, our elders, our daughters are sitting there. They are not sitting their out of happiness. I was also born in farmer’s home. I am also hurt.”

While JJP had been taking the credit of getting the 75 per cent reservation for Haryana youth in private sector jobs implemented in the State, Babli took a dig at that too. “Today, we talk of development in Haryana. We talk of employment. From where will the investment come? A businessman who wants to set up an industry, will be scared. I would like to urge chief minister, deputy CM, entire council of ministers and even PM that it is a serious matter. They should resolve this matter with a large heart. This ongoing issue is not in the interest of our country or state.”

Bakhaan karna sab ko acha lagta hai. Main bhi karna chaahta hoon. Main bhi sarkaar ka hissa hoon. Par yeh ek kadva sach hai. Yeh nahi ke main akela jaanta hoon, sabhi jaante hain,” Babli said, adding that people had elected their representatives with a hope that their issues will get resolved by the people sitting in the Vidhan Sabha.

Babli also asked why the ongoing standoff between farmers and government could not be resolved.

“The announcements that were made by the chief minister, not in this government’s tenure, but even in the previous tenure, have yet not been fulfilled. No work has started on any of those announcements,” Babli claimed, citing examples.

Babli’s remarks came even as farmers have planned to hold protests outside the residences of BJP-JJP and independent MLAs in Haryana, asking them to support the no-confidence motion moved by Congress or face social and political boycott. BKU leader Gurnam Singh Chadhuni has issued an appeal to mobilise people for such protests on March 9.

A no-confidence motion moved by Leader of Opposition and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was accepted by the Speaker Gian Chand Gupta and shall be taken up for discussion in Vidhan Sabha on March 10 as part of the ongoing Budget session of Haryana Vidhan Sabha. The Budget shall be presented by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who also holds the finance portfolio, on March 12.

“Haryana Vidhan Sabha budget session is going on. This time, a no-confidence motion is coming up in Vidhan Sabha in protest against the three farm legislations. I would request you to submit memorandums to all BJP, JJP and Independent MLAs and hold protest rallies in front of them on March 9. You should protest outside the residences of all such MLAs on March 9 and submit a memorandum to them urging them to support the no-confidence motion so that this government falls and accepts farmers demands. We should also give them warning that if they do not support the no-confidence motion, we shall boycott them both socially and politically. We should hold these protest rallies in all such MLAs’ respective constituencies,” Gurnam Singh Chadhuni said in a video message released on social media platforms.

A large number of farmers led by women and holding union flags protested outside the office of Independent MLA Gopal Kanda in Sirsa, Monday. They were protesting against Kanda a day after he sent a letter to the Vidhan Sabha announcing his support to BJP.

Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee chief Kumari Selja said, “In order to hide its failures, BJP-JJP government of Haryana was only pretending to give 75 per cent reservation to local youth in new jobs in private sector. Neither are the youth of the state happy with this decision, nor are the people running industries. This government has once again betrayed people of Haryana. The farmer-friendly BJP-JJP and independent MLAs of Haryana should listen to their conscience on the no-confidence motion brought by the Congress and leave the anti-farmer-labour BJP government in Haryana and support the no-confidence motion in this decisive battle of the farmers.”

While addressing mediapersons in Chandigarh, Monday, Selja added, “To divert attention from its failures and giving new jumlas has become the mark of this government. BJP leader and finance minister at the Centre Nirmala Sitharaman herself was describing this decision as incomprehensible. The entire Bill has given a way that if the company does not get the special skills in the youth of Haryana for employment, they can hire the outsider. This way, any industry can deny reservation to the local youth by making excuses. Why reservation will not be given 75 per cent to the youth of the state in jobs with salary above Rs 50,000 per month in the private sector?”

Hooda also led a protest march of Congress MLAs to the Vidhan Sabha, Monday afternoon. He sat on the tractor that was pulled by Congress MLAs using ropes, as a mark of protest against rising fuel prices. Congress MLAs raised slogans against rising inflation and prices of LPG, fuel and essential items of daily use.

“While incomes of families is decreasing due to the economic slowdown, household expenses are increasing due to inflation and this is hurting people as they are forced to cut down on their expenses even on basic items. VAT rate in Haryana on diesel was 9.24 per cent during Congress government, which has more than doubled in the BJP-JJP government. During Congress government, prices of petrol and diesel in Haryana were lowest in the country. But today diesel in Haryana is more expensive than other neighbouring states. State government should give relief to the public by reducing the rate of VAT. During Congress government, when the price of a gas cylinder was just Rs 347, BJP leaders held demonstrations by carrying gas cylinders. But today when the price of cylinder is Rs 850, the same leaders do not utter a word,” Hooda said.

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