BJP leader and former state home minister Sampat Singh Sunday urged the Centre to give up its “adamancy” and repeal all three Central farm laws before a scheduled meeting with agitating farmers on Monday.
“These should be withdrawn and a new law guaranteeing purchase of crops by the government at MSP (minimum support price) should be brought in their place. When the government had been assuring that MSP would continue, there was no reason why a law should not be made for the same. By giving legal shape to MSP, the farmers would be assured that they would be able to sell their crops at the rates fixed by the government,” Singh said.
A six-time MLA, Singh had joined the BJP ahead of October 2019 Assembly polls after the Congress denied him ticket.
The BJP leader said, “The Centre should not view the farmers’ stir as a political campaign by Opposition parties. Rather, attribution of the stir to political parties is an insult to the farmers.” He said the government should recall that former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri had given the slogan “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan”.
Singh said the farmers had been braving harsh cold weather for over a month and fighting for their survival. “No political party at this juncture had the strength or support to instigate farmers. It’s purely a farmers’ own struggle for survival. So, blaming Opposition parties for the stir is absurd,” he added.
The former minister said, “These were the same farmers and farm labourers who had helped the nation come out of economic crisis during the coronavirus pandemic through their sheer grit. They were the same who had run ‘langars’ to feed millions of migrant labourers who had to return home during the lockdown.”
The BJP leader said nearly 50 farmers had already sacrificed their lives for their struggle.
‘Call special session of Parliament’
Rajya Sabha MP from Haryana Deepender Singh Hooda has demanded the Central government to call a special session of Parliament immediately to repeal controversial farm laws. On Sunday, he and senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala went to different toll plazas to extend support to the protesting farmers.
Protests against BJP leaders, CM
As part of their announcement, the farmers on Sunday staged a protest when local BJP leaders went to hold a meeting at Balsamand village of Hisar district. The BJP leaders held a meeting inside a dharmshala amid police deployment outside the venue. A farmer leader, Sandeep Dhiranwas, told The Indian Express the BJP leaders had come to hold a training session at a village dharmshala. “The farmers rushed to the venue as soon as they came to know about the event. We staged a protest against the BJP leaders. If our demands are not met, we will stage bigger protests whenever the BJP leaders come to the village again,” he added.
Farmers staged a protest at a toll plaza in Panchkula district when Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar came to the town to attend a function. Carrying black flags, the protesters also raised slogans against the BJP leaders.
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