April 22, 2021 5:03:26 am
A farmers’ protest at Baghapurana grain market in Punjab’s Moga district turned chaotic on Wednesday after a local Congress leader tried to join in and was asked to leave immediately.
Farmers were protesting against the shortage of bardana (gunny bags) at the mandi for the ongoing wheat procurement when Kamaljit Singh Brar, spokesperson of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) and son of local Baghapurana Congress MLA Darshan Singh Brar, reached the protest site and sat alongwith farmers.
However, farmers made it clear that they do not want any politician participating in their protest and asked him to leave immediately. When Brar did not leave, farmers started raising slogans against him. “Kamaljit Brar murdabad…Captain sarkaar murdabad…Darshan Brar murdabad…lokan naal jhoote waade karan waaley murdabad….,” they shouted.
The farmers accused Captain Amarinder Singh of making false promises before Punjab Assembly polls 2017 and said that his government could not even fulfill the basic requirement of gunny bags in the grain markets for wheat procurement.
Later, Kamaljit Singh Brar, while blaming his own government for the plight of farmers, said: “Captain needs to probe who was tarnishing his image in eyes of farmers’ and that minister, official or whomsoever he/she is, needs to be shunted out immediately.”
Brar said, “Today, I sat in the protest against my own government. Why has the situation reached this point? Why farmers are facing issues in getting something as basic as gunny bags? Captain is known as messiah of farmers who waived their loans, protected waters of Punjab and today someone is trying to tarnish his image. That minister, official, or whomsoever he/she is, needs to be shunted out immediately.”
“I am also a son of a farmer and I know how it feels. That’s why I came here to support protesting farmers but some people asked me to leave saying they do not need any political interference which is fine,” he added.
Harmandar Singh Demru, general secretary, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan), Baghapurana block, who led the protesting farmers, said: “People voted for Congress and Captain after getting lured by his pre-poll promises in 2017, but he has failed to fulfill even the basic requirement of farmers. “There are no gunny bags in the mandis to pack the wheat. Is this how Captain claims to be the messiah of the farmers? At Baghapurana mandi, farmers have been coming here with their wheat harvest but are being turned back because there are no gunny bags to pack it. Officials are saying they have no idea when bags will come, so we blocked the road in front of Baghapurana mandi for three hours today and raised slogans against Congress government led by Captain Amarinder Singh.”
Gurtir Singh from BKU Ekta Ugrahan said that Kamaljit Singh Brar tried to “hijack” the farmers protest and despite repeated appeals that he should leave, did not do so, following which farmers had to raise slogans against him. “Kamaljit Brar is a Congress leader and we do not want support from any politician irrespective of the party he/she belongs to. He did not leave despite repeated appeals following which we raised slogans against him and finally he had to leave from there. Gunny bags to pack wheat/paddy is something very basic and since years procurement is happening in mandis. It is not anything new and even then Congress government led by Captain Amarinder Singh has failed to make even basic arrangements for wheat procurement,” he said.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Kamaljit Singh Brar said: “I joined them because we are also farmers and understand their problems. We are arhtiyas too and I know what are the problems faced by the people who earn from agriculture. My own harvested crop is lying in the mandis. Captain Amarinder Singh has done a lot for farmers but now he needs to pay heed towards those people in his government because of whom farmers are suffering. Farmers never faced any issues during Congress government but this time they are facing issues and people responsible for it need to be held accountable. Who are those officials or ministers because of whom farmers are now sitting on roads?”
Asked which minister/official he was referring to, Brar said, “Captain Amarinder Singh needs to find this out, get it probed and punish him.”
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