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Explained: What Bengal Assembly election results mean for the farmers’ stir

Farm leaders had specially gone to West Bengal to campaign against the BJP during the polls. As soon as the results were announced, they “celebrated the defeat of BJP” at dharna venues across Haryana.

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh |
Updated: May 11, 2021 8:43:17 am
Farmers from Chhachhrauli (Yamunanagar) with BKU leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni after donating wheat for the agitation.

Farmers protesting against Centre’s controversial farm laws claim that the results of Bengal Assembly polls and UP panchayat polls have given a new “energy” to their agitation. The Indian Express explains why this feeling is gaining ground among farmers and what it means for the BJP.

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What is the impact of Bengal poll results on farmers stir?

Farm leaders had specially gone to West Bengal to campaign against the BJP during the polls. As soon as the results were announced, they “celebrated the defeat of BJP” at dharna venues across Haryana while terming it a “reverse gear” for the saffron party. Now, a feeling has gained ground among the agitator farmers that they can play a “significant role” against BJP in the polls in other states too “after the experiment of Bengal” where they had actively campaigned against the saffron party. The farmers are happy with the “setbacks” to BJP in Uttar Pradesh panchayat polls too as farmers of western UP actively participated in the agitation. Now, farmers even from Haryana have started announcing that they will actively campaign against BJP in UP’s Assembly polls.

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How do poll results from far-flung areas impact agitation?

Farmers believe that “the outcome of their agitation is deeply connected with the political strength of BJP in the country as only the ruling party can take a call on the fate of three farm laws”. So, farmers link the results of polls with the fate of their agitation. Political observer Rishi Saini says, protesters will try to make efforts “to impact the poll scenario” in future too if the agitation continues for long. Referring to the results of West Bengal, Saini says, “It will certainly have a positive impact on all the agitations, including of farmers, which were launched against the BJP-led government.”

BJP has already been alleging that the Opposition parties “are backing the farmer agitation for political gains”.

What is the scenario in Haryana?

The results of West Bengal Assembly and UP panchayat polls are widely being discussed among farmers in Haryana. On the day when West Bengal Assembly polls were announced around two dozen farmers were detained in Bhiwani district when they were trying to move to the town to stage a protest against the CM. Soon after their detention, at least four important roads were blocked by the farmers to demand their release and subsequently the Bhiwani agitators were released. BKU’s Kurukshetra district president Jasbir Singh Mamumajra says the flow of donation of wheat for the agitators has grown suddenly “as the results of Bengal Assembly polls and UP panchayat elections have given a new energy to the five-month-old agitation”.

What do BJP leaders say?

A section in the BJP is concerned about the agitation since the farming community constitutes a large chunk of the population but hopes that the protests may not go on for long.

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