Punjab BJP leaders continue to issue statements that they will reach out to farmers/ commission agents to discuss the three farm Bills of the Centre, but state farmers are not exactly rolling out the red carpet for them.
In Mansa, a list of BJP workers/leaders is being made in every village/mandi town area and on September 25, their names will be announced in public so as to make people stop buying anything from them. This decision was taken Monday afternoon by the Federation of Arhtiya Association Punjab’s Mansa unit.
Jatinder Garg, vice-president of the state’s association said, “On Sunday we passed a resolution against the Bills at Sangrur and now individually people are making decisions on their own to boycott BJP, which is looking after our interests.”
He added, “On Monday, the entire Bareta Mandi was closed in Mansa district and we decided to make a list of BJP workers/leaders of our area. We have already made this announcement that we will be socially boycotting them and we will appeal to people not to purchase anything from their shops. In Bareta Mandi, there are about 10-15 such shops while in Budhlada, Sardulgarh, Bhikhi, Mansa, Joga etc markets as well there are many shops of people who are active workers of BJP and we know them well. Hence, there must be hundreds of such workers in the district. Farmers/arhtiyas of each area are making their own lists. Either they sit with us in dharnas against BJP or we will make their names public to masses and will appeal not to buy anything from them.”
Moreover, all of Mansa district will be shut on September 25 to support the Punjab bandh call of farmers. This decision was taken Monday evening at a joint meeting of farmers/commission agents/Savidhan Bachao Manch and many other organisations. “We are a small district and are linked with the income of farmers and ahrtiyas and hence we support their cause fully, as in the future, we too will be equally affected,” said Gurlabh Singh Mahal, member of Savidhan Bachao Manch.
Talking about BJP leaders saying that they will reach out to masses, he said, “Had they visited earlier, things would not have turned so sour. Akali Dal just saved its skin by taking a U-turn, otherwise similar action would have been for them as well. They must have sensed this trouble well ahead. However, even they have played politics to save their own skin rather than favouring farmers.”
Garg meanwhile said, “Irrespective of the claims of PM Narendra Modi, APMC Act will vanish in the longer run as in the first 1-2 years, private players will give good prices to farmers…and gradually they will build monopoly in the market. Government agencies will gradually stop buying from farmers and hence will end APMC Act while private players will start giving price at below MSP to farmers. It is already happening in the case of cotton, maize crops in Punjab.”
A local SAD leader, while speaking at an arhtiyas’ meeting said, “It was a difficult time for us as we were not even able to face farmers in the past. However, the stand taken by SAD has now let us move among the public as people had silently started hating us.”
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