January 30, 2021 6:32:42 am
Among scores of pakka morchas currently underway across Punjab, there is one that stands out for being run by a majority of BJP supporters to oppose farm laws brought by the BJP-led Union government. Further, it is being staged inside the Lok Sabha constituency of BJP MP and Union Minister Som Prakash.
Even after the Red Fort incident, the protesters holding fort at this dharna at Harsa Mansar Toll Plaza in Mukerian, Hoshiarpur district, said that their protest will continue.
Vijay Singh Thakur, a resident of Behbal Manj village Mukerian who is the convener of this pakka dharna committee, said: “This dharna is being led by majority of BJP supporters and local leaders. Before BJP supporters we are farmers and how can we tolerate such anti-farmer policies of our own government.”
Though the dharna involves seven farm unions of the area under the banner of ‘Pagari Sambhal Jatta Kisan Mazdoor Ekta committe’, the protesters at the site are mostly BJP men. The dharna has been on here for the past 110 days.
Nangalawana village sarpanch Saurabh Minhas, a BJP supporter, said that the entire area is made up of BJP support base, but these laws have brought them to this pakka dharna.
Thakur added: “I am a diehard BJP supporter, ready to give my life for BJP. Even now BJP flag is there atop my house. I am looking after every affair of BJP’s policies in my village, but I am totally against the three laws and will never support Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this issue. My family has been serving BJP for the past four decades.”
It was Mukerian Assembly segment that had helped Som Prakash register a win in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He had secured 74,913 votes against 37,207 of the Congress candidate from Mukerian Assembly constituency and won because of the heavy lead from Mukerain.
But the pakka morcha now showcases how party’s own supporters are fuming over its actions.
Another senior member of this morcha, Dr Santoskh Singh of village Manjhpur village, said that he has been a BJP worker and supporter for the past 25 years.
“But now I am sitting at this pakka dharna for the past over three months…We have decided not to vote for this party again if the laws are not cancelled,” he added.
Speaking to The Indian Express from the dharna site, Subhash Chand, 60, a farmer from Jandwal village, said that ever since he has started voting, he only voted for the BJP, but now he will not.
“These three laws have exposed how anti-farmer both the BJP and Prime Minister are,” he said supporting this dharna.
Several elderly men and women are part of this dharna. Master Jodh Singh (85), a retired school teacher, a farmer and a writer, of Kotli Khas village has been here against three farm laws for the past 110 days. He spends the entire day here and returns home late in the evening.
Talking about the Red Fort incident, he said that this incident has defamed the entire community, but farmers’ protest will continue because everyone knows that just one or two persons were behind this, not the Sanyukat Kisan Morcha (SKM). He said that it will make their protest stronger.
“It is to save the farming community and poor of this country,” said Narender Singh Goli, a retired school teacher, adding that all BJP supporters and workers are supplying relief material to this dharna and also to the Singhu border protest site.
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