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‘SYL issue being raised to divide Punjab, Haryana farmers: MLA who withdrew support from Khattar govt

Haryana Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Jai Prakash Dalal, who is from the BJP, had recently appealed to those “participating in” and “supporting” the farmers’ protest to include the issue of the SYL canal project in their list of demands.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | December 16, 2020 11:04:22 pm
Farmers Protest, farm bills, tikri border, haryana bjp-jjp government, manohar lal khattar, SYL canal, SYL canal issue, indian express newsSangwan, who is leader of the Sangwan khap, assured the protesters that all khaps of Haryana are backing them. (Facebook@sombirsangwanckd)

“SOME LEADERS are raising the issue of the SYL canal to spoil the unity of farmers of Punjab and Haryana and some leaders are talking about singing songs of Holi on the occasion of Diwali,” said independent MLA Sombir Sangwan, who reached the Tikri border of Delhi on Wednesday, days after withdrawing support from Haryana’s BJP-JJP government.
Notably, Sangwan’s constituency Dadri falls in the southern part of Haryana, where water for irrigation is a big need. But Sangwan says it’s not the right time to raise the matter related to completion of Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, which has been a contentious issue between Punjab and Haryana for the past several decades.

Haryana Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Jai Prakash Dalal, who is from the BJP, had recently appealed to those “participating in” and “supporting” the farmers’ protest to include the issue of the SYL canal project in their list of demands. Some other BJP leaders from Haryana too are raising this issue. However, Congress leader and former Haryana Assembly Speaker Ashok Arora has alleged that this issue is being raised to divide farmers of Punjab and Haryana who are jointly struggling against three controversial farm laws.

Echoing these sentiments, Sangwan said, “You might be witnessing for the past 2-4 days that the issue of SYL is being raised. However, there is no need (to raise this issue) at this stage. If the land is not saved what will be use of water? So, water is not an issue today. Some leaders are talking to sing songs of Holi on the occasion of Diwali. Some leaders are trying to spoil our bhaichara (brotherhood), unity and agitation. All us farmers are one and the entire society is standing by the agitators. A total 85 per cent population of India is engaged in small-level agriculture. I would like to urge Modi ji too…this agitation can’t be supressed.”

Addressing farmers including those from Punjab and Haryana at Tikri border, Sangwan further said, “This dharna of farmers was started 20 days ago under the leadership of Punjab brothers. The public of the entire country is standing by you. Whenever this country needed, Sikh gurus and followers gave leadership and maximum contribution to save this country.”

Sangwan, who is leader of the Sangwan khap, assured the protesters that all khaps of Haryana are backing them.

Farm laws will hit all sections of society: Chaduni

Haryana Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Gurnam Singh Chaduni Wednesday said that “the controversial farm laws are not only anti-farmer but will hit all sections of society”.

In a recorded message, he said, “This agitation belongs to every section of society, not only of farmers. It’s a different thing that the farmers have launched this agitation but the laws will cause harm to the entire country.”

Giving an example, Chaduni said, “Four years ago, the Maharashtra government had lifted stock limit from dals (pulses). I am talking about Essential Commodities Act. Then, dals were purchased (by private players) from farmers at the rate of Rs 50 per kg but were further sold to consumers at the rate of Rs 200 per kg. Who paid this benefit of Rs 150 per kg? It was the common man, poor and labourers. It was a scam of lakhs of crores. This money went to the pockets of capitalists from the pockets of the common man. This strategy will be opted for every item like they have done for potato and onion this time. Did the government formulate any law in which an item purchased from the farmer at the rate of Rs 10 per kg can’t be sold at the rate of more than Rs 20 per kg? This is not logical that an item purchased at the rate of Rs 10 per kg is sold at the rate of Rs 100 per kg. This is exploitation of public and now a right has been given for this exploitation by enacting a law. If these laws remain intact, it’s certain that everybody has to face inflation.”

“I would like to appeal all sections of society to cooperate in this peaceful agitation. But its our strict instruction not to indulge in any riot. Anybody who is indulging in riots won’t be our man. He should be handed over to the police,” he added.

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