The farmers in Punjab Saturday announced a ‘social boycott’ of Gurdaspur MP Sunny Deol after he came out in support of the farm sector Bills, which have been widely protested by the farmers. Later in the day, farmers said that they will now boycott all BJP leaders and worker while commission agents at Budhlada Mandi, located in Mansa district, too announced that they will not let BJP leaders enter the mandis.
The Rajya Sabha will Sunday discuss the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, which have already been cleared by the Lok Sabha.
Farmers in Punjab said that Deol, who contested the Lok Sabha polls on a BJP ticket, has betrayed the Punjabi community despite being a farmer’s son. Punjab Minister Sukjinder Singh Randhawa cited Deol’s famous dialogue from a Hindi film saying that the BJP MP has hit the farmers with his “dhai kilo ka haath”.
Extending his support to the contentious Bills, Deol took to Twitter in Hindi. “The Government of India had assured that farmers will be able to sell their agricultural produce at a place of their choice at a better price, which will increase the number of potential buyers,” he said in a tweet.
“The farmer will continue to own the crop at the production state and the crop will be insured and the farmer will also be able to take loans from financial institutions if needed,” he had added
BKU (Lakhowal) general secretary Harinder Singh Lakhowal said, “We are upset over Deol’s statement. He forgot how much love he got from Punjab when he came to contest the 2019 election. There was hardly any wave in support of BJP in that region, but still people voted for him. However, he seems to have forgot his voters and has started singing the BJP tune irrespective of the fact that farmers are protesting and are in pain. He is a Punjabi and his family has a farming background. Still, he has failed to understand the pain of farmers”.
BKU (Dakaunda)’s Jagmohan Singh Patiala said that they have announced to socially boycott Deol and Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Parkash, the only other BJP MP from Punjab. “We are specially hurt with Deol who did not stand by the farmers despite being a farmer’s son. Now the voters are feeling cheated and will think twice before voting an actor in future. ”
Satman Pannu, president of Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee, which is having a strong base in Majha region in which Deol’s constituency falls, said that when the actor came to Punjab he knew nothing about politics. “We were aware that he is a raw person. But he told us that he was seeking votes as a Punjabi, as a farmer’s son and Punjabis gave him an overwhelming response and making him victorious with a huge margin. But what has he done for us? He speaks the language of RSS and BJP and is not bothered about lakhs of small and marginal farmers. We will not allow him to enter our villages.”
Activist and Malerkotla-based farmer Abjinder Sangha tweeted tagging Deol and his actor father Dharmendra: “@iamsunnydeol you promised you will be voice for farmers but now when it is time to stand up for the farmers you are slient?@aapkadharam sir raise your voice in favour of farmers instead of showing videos of vegetables from yours farmhouse.”
Jagseer Singh, a Bathinda-based farmer who is attending the pakka morcha at Badal village said a political leader must visit the villages to understand how farmers are surviving. “I feel sad for the electorate who voted for a candidate who has no knowledge about farmers or farming. Ironical that he is a farmer’s son and has his roots in Punjab,” he added.
Earlier, Punjab Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa too issued a statement in which he said, “Sunny Deol always talks about his dialogue ‘Dhai Kilo ka haath’ in his politicial speeches but now he has hit the farmers hard with his so called dhai kilo ka haath and have injured them completely.”
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