Updated: August 3, 2021 12:00:11 pm
At the receiving end of the farmers’ agitation for eight months, the ruling BJP has decided to undertake a two-week long Tiranga Yatra in Haryana. BJP plans to undertake the yatra constituency wise in all 90 Assembly segments. The Indian Express explains BJP’s objective and plan behind the yatra ahead of Independence Day.
What is BJP’s plan for Tiranga Yatra?
BJP leaders from all 90 constituencies will carry out the yatra in their respective areas. The ministers may join for more than one constituency. The local leaders have been given freedom to choose a mode to undertake the yatra. Like, on first day of the yatra on Sunday, it was carried out in Loharu constituency of Bhiwani district which is being represented by state Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister J P Dalal. BJP supporters on tractors covered nearly 40-km between a small town Bahal to Loharu. Dalal says local leaders “may undertake paidal yatra too while carrying the Tricolour”.
What’s the objective of Tiranga Yatra?
Haryana BJP president Om Prakash Dhankar said the yatra is aimed at creating a passion for patriotism among youths. “We can’t teach the youth patriotism without carrying Tricolour in hands and expressing our gratitude to the martyrs,” added Dhankar. BJP leaders also claim they organise such events every year. However, there seems a political angle too. The intense farmers’ agitation has pushed the ruling BJP into a corner during past eight months with angry farmers staging protests against its leaders in Haryana whenever they move to an area dominated by the agitators. Not only this, farmers even target organisational events of BJP by staging protests outside their meeting venues. In these circumstances, it has become almost difficult to continue normal activities for the party despite being in power in the state and Centre. So, it was necessary for the BJP to go to the masses on one or another pretext. With these yatras, the BJP also aims to energise its workers so that they don’t sit idle in the absence of party’s activities.
Why did farmers avoid opposition to BJP’s Tiranga Yatra?
Farmer leaders term the BJP’s Tiranga Yatra as a “ploy” to defame their ongoing agitation. A leader of Samyukta Kisan Morch (SKM), Yogendra Yadav, said: “It’s just their (BJP) ploy, aimed at drawing a confrontation with the farmers. Keeping in view their tactics, the SKM has decided that we will not oppose this Tiranga Yatra.”
In an appeal to the farmers, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said: “The Tricolour is the honour of the country. If you (farmers) stop their yatra, they (BJP men) will say that you have insulted the Tiranga. Stay away from it.”
Amid these statements, the farmer leaders decided against opposing the Tiranga Yatra. There is feeling among farmers that they should avoid any such activity which may prove counter-productive to their agitation which is underway against three contentious farm laws. They also feel that their demands will be accepted later or sooner.
What BJP leaders say
BJP leader JP Dalal claims that a wrong perception has been created that the farmers are against the saffron party.
“The participation of a large number of farmers in Tiranga Yatra in Loharu constituency has shown that the farmers trust the policies of BJP. Our yatra succeeded there despite the fact that Loharu is stated as an area of farmer agitation,” said Dalal. He added: “The Congressmen and Communists are behind this agitation. But these agitators don’t have now numbers. Only a handful of people are now with them. Sometime they move to Delhi borders while next time the same persons move to the toll plazas. The common men in villages are now upset with these agitators.”
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