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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

At public functions, Haryana BJP leaders voice their opinions on farmer protests loud and clear

Haryana Education Minister and former Speaker of Vidhan Sabha too came out in support of the farm legislations and claimed that most of those protesting were not even aware of what was written in the three legislations.

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh | December 2, 2020 11:14:30 am
Protester dies at Tikri, heart attack suspectedFarmers gathered at New Delhi's Singhu border. (Express file photo by Gajendra Yadav)

From advising farmers not to mistake Delhi for “Lahore or Karachi”, to ridiculing farmers showing black flags to them, several Haryana BJP leaders dismissed the farmers’ agitation through controversial statements while defending the three contentious farm laws at different functions on Tuesday.

A day after protesting farmers waved black flags at Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij in Ambala, BJP MP Rattan Lal Kataria on Tuesday lost his cool when faced with a similar situation in the same district.

READ | Haryana ally JJP suggests: Why not add a line on MSP

Shown blacks flags by farmers as they shouted out anti-government slogans, during an inauguration ceremony, Kataria said, “Mere peeche aap dekh rahe hain, naarebaazi ho rahi hai, kaale jhande dikha rahe hain. Arrey, bhale maanso, kisi aur ki nahi sochni toh apne Ambala ke vikaas ke baare mein toh soch lo. 60-70 saal se jo cheez pending padi thi, aaj voh ho rahi hai. Tumne kaale jhande dikhaane the, toh 7-8 udghatan aur ho rahe hain, kahin aur mar lete, kar lete. Jaroori tha beech mein yahan khoonta thokna. Toh yaniki, har vikas ke kaam mein rore atkaana, har baat ko galat disha dena, main toh bhagwan se haath jod kar prathna karta hoon – hey bhagwan yeh jo kaale jhande dikha rahe hain, inko sadbudhi de, aur yeh krishi bilon ko gehrayi se padhein ke kis prakaar se Modi ji ne inke kalyaan ke liya kadam uthaye hain. (Behind me you can see sloganeering, black flags can been seen. If you didn’t want to think about others, at least think about the development of your own Ambala. What had been pending for 60-70 years, is finally happening. You had to show black flags, there are 7-8 other inaugurations happening, you could have done it somewhere else. Was it necessary to hammer it in here?…for those people who are trying to block development, give everything a wrong direction, I fold my hands and pray to god to give them good sense, and they thoroughly read the farm Bills to realise in what ways Modi has taken steps for their welfare).”

Kataria, who is also the Union minister of state for Jal Shakti, social justice and empowerment, was accompanied by BJP MLA Aseem Goel and some local BJP leaders to the inauguration that took place in Jandli village, where they had gone to lay the foundation stone of an underbridge on the Ambala-Rajpura rail section. After the function, Kataria had to be escorted to his car under police cover.

Meanwhile, reacting to reports of some farmers allegedly declaring that they would block Delhi’s supply of water and essential commodities, Haryana Agriculture Minister J P Dalal advised farmers not to consider Delhi as “Lahore or Karachi”, adding that there were some “foreign powers who do not like Narendra Modi’s face” and were thus instigating farmers.

READ | Farmer unions begin talks with Centre; say no to panel, agree to revert with objections

Govt invites farm leaders for talks today; PM blames protest on ‘rumour’ and ‘praopaganda’ Farmers at the Singhu border (Express photo by Amit Mehra)

“Policies are not made on the roads, but in Parliament by elected representatives. If they will do something wrong in Parliament, people will replace them. Rather than protesting, farmers should wait for two-three years to realise the benefits of these legislations. Talks are the only solution. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the one who has thought of taking decisions in the interest of farmers. Without waiting for the results of such decisions, protesting on the roads is not correct,” Dalal said.

Haryana Education Minister and former Speaker of Vidhan Sabha too came out in support of the farm legislations and claimed that most of those protesting were not even aware of what was written in the three legislations.

Saying that all three farm legislations are 100 per cent in favour of farmers, Kanwar Pal said, “Bahut se log toh badi sankhya mein is prakaar se aaye hote hain ke jinhe pata hi nahi hota ke yeh unke hit mein hain ke nahi hain.”

Giving a background of the farm legislations, Kanwar Pal said, “It was in 2001 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister, a decision of this kind was taken that such laws should be enacted for welfare of farmers. States were also consulted and asked about their opinions. All states had passed it and said that it was need of the hour and should be implemented. That means this process was on since 2001 and is being implemented in 2020. Even Congress had mentioned in their manifesto that they would bring legislations in farmers’ welfare. Lekin, ab yeh bakheda khada kar diya gaya.”

Pal added, “The initial problem was created by arhtiya who said that if farmer is given direct payment online, what would happen to the loan that he gives to farmer. Arhtiyas consistently approached us, but we told them that changes were imminent on global patterns. It went on for three years and finally when direct payment was implemented, they started protesting. Then kisan unions too started protesting. Kisan unions must explain to us that where did we amend the laws that were already existing. Mandis are intact, MSP is intact – what did we change? We only changed that if they want to sell their crop outside mandis, they can do so. Now, they [farmers] say that farmers could earlier also sell it outside mandis. But the numbers were very low and yet market committees could catch them for not paying the market fee. Farmers had the fear of being penalised. But now only that farmer will sell his crop outside who gets more price outside of mandi. Otherwise, he is already getting MSP for his crop.”

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Farmers protest, Farm Bills 2020, Punjab farmer protest, Punjab, Govt farmer talks, Indian Express Protesting farmers shout slogans as they clash with policemen while attempting to move towards Delhi on Nov. 27, 2020. (AP Photo: Altaf Qadri)

‘Just like Shaheen Bagh

Accusing the Opposition of creating a “ghost of doubt” on MSP, Kanwar Pal added, “MSP is going on since 1965. How can anybody abolish it? It is just a ghost created by Opposition. Even for the next 50 years, MSP can not be abolished. Why such a doubt was created all of a sudden, when there was never a doubt on MSP in anybody’s mind for the last many decades. Yeh bilkul vaisa hi hai jo Shaheen Bagh mein kareya ke CAA jo hai na voh Musalmano ka right khatam kar dega, unki naagrikta smapt kar dega. Kitne din chalta raha, koi ek din thode chala. Lekin naagrikta smampt karne ka toh kanoon nahi tha, naagrikta dene ka kanoon tha. Similarly, these legislations are also meant to give, not to take away anything from anybody.”

“Now, they [Opposition] are saying that Adani and Ambani will buy entire crop. How can Ambani, Adani purchase entire crop? It is worth Rs 6 lakh crore. Where will they keep such a crop, even if they buy it. Where will they stock it? If a law is made in public welfare and then you realise that some amount of loss also took place. Then, can’t you rethink over it? Constitution was made and over 100 amendments have taken place. But you first need to let it function and wait for three-four years to see its impact. And if there will be any loss to anybody after that, don’t you think it will be a loss to the party that enacts such a law? Is there any party that can form the government without farmer’s support? There is no party that can function without farmer’s cooperation,” Pal said, adding that there was no logic in the arguments being given by the farmers or the Opposition.

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