Updated: February 7, 2021 9:31:54 am
Amid the ongoing farmer protests against the three controversial farm bills, The Indian Express spoke to to Harjeet Singh Grewal, BJP working committee member who is also a part of party panel talking to farmers.
The protests have been on since June. Do you think the state unit misjudged the magnitude of the protests?
We were in touch with farmers since the beginning… But yes, I admit, we were late in understanding the magnitude. In Punjab, the ruling party has been encouraging protests.
You have been part of talks in Delhi since November 28. What do you think is the possible solution?
Many farmer unions are not in the mood to end the protests. The reason is they are forcibly collecting funds from villages, getting money from other countries.
How do you see the January 26 violence?
It was a serious attempt by the protesting farmer unions to defame the country, create widespread violence. We have got many videos of leaders speaking about going to the Red Fort. They can deny it but the government has proof. It was due to the wisdom of the Delhi Police, Home Minister and Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) that the situation was handled sensibly.
But in the days since, the protests have swelled.
These dharnas will wind up soon. Differences of farmer unions will be the main reason.
Will the BJP pay a price for the farmer anger?
No doubt we are facing protests, our state leaders are not able to campaign for urban local body polls. However, all this also shows the true face of the protesters. No one can stop a party like the BJP..
In your native village Dhanaula, a social boycott has been announced against you, your house was defaced.
Only a handful of people were behind it, and an FIR was lodged. Now, there is not much anger… There is no social boycott. I live in Rajpura and have not been to my village in five years. I spoke the truth that a number of farmer unions can be considered urban Naxalites, Maoists, and advised them that a legal guarantee for MSP would be harmful… My frank talk is not liked by many.
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