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Monday, January 18, 2021

Two Punjab BJP leaders meet PM Modi, tell him farm issue needs solution fast

Stating that such a meeting “cannot be ruled out”, Jyani said, “It depends on the union leaders – if they seek time from PM, there is a protocol. But I am hopeful that talks on January 8 will yield positive results.”

Written by Raakhi Jagga , Man Aman Singh Chhina | Chandigarh, Ludhiana | Updated: January 7, 2021 9:17:21 am
Farmers protest, Surjit Kumar Jayani, Farmers protest in Delhi, Farmers delhi chalo march, Ludhiana news, Punjab news, Indian express newsSurjit Kumar Jayani

Punjab BJP leaders Surjit Kumar Jyani and Harjeet Singh Grewal met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Tuesday evening on the issue of the ongoing farmers’ agitation and urged him that the issue needs to be “resolved sooner than later”.

Jyani, chairman of the eight-member panel of Punjab BJP leaders coordinating with farmers’ unions from the state, told The Indian Express over phone after the hour-long meeting: “The PM is aware of the entire situation. We apprised him briefly about the magnitude of protests outside houses of 32 BJP leaders, including my house in Fazilka district…We requested him that this issue be resolved sooner than later.”

Jyani, a former state minister, also said, “The PM is really worried about the farmers… He asked us who is the one leader out of these more than 40 (union leaders) who can talk with the ministers and has the authority to take decisions.”
While the leaders did not reveal many details about the meeting, sources said the party’s top leadership wants Modi to meet the farmer union leaders.

Stating that such a meeting “cannot be ruled out”, Jyani said, “It depends on the union leaders – if they seek time from PM, there is a protocol. But I am hopeful that talks on January 8 will yield positive results.”

Grewal said, “We got positive vibes after the meeting. In the 1990s, when he (Modi) was the organisational secretary of Punjab, he had even come to my home, and he remembered that. We have been deputed by state (BJP) president Ashwani Sharma to be in Delhi, so one cannot say that the state leadership was ignored. In fact, we are representing the state leadership.”

Sources said the two leaders spoke about the farm unions of Punjab and past protests in the state. They also informed the PM about the public mood in Punjab.

Jyani said that Modi had also visited his home in Kathera village of Fazilka in the late 90s when he was organisational secretary.

Sources in the BJP said that this meeting was only between Jyani and Grewal and the PM and that no other leader from Punjab was present. “This was because only these two leaders had sought time from the PM. This is why the state president Ashwani Sharma, the Union minister representing Punjab, Som Parkash, and the national general secretary from Punjab, Tarun Chugh, were not present in this meeting,” a leader said.

Surjit Kumar Jyani was appointed chairperson of a committee to interact with the farmers and find a solution to the imbroglio. As reported by The Indian Express last month, Jyani had criticised his own party leadership for not listening to farmers and had appealed to the PM, Home Minister Amit Shah and party president J P Nadda to talk to farmers.

Subsequently, Jyani was called for meeting with Amit Shah. Grewal has been very vocal defending the farm laws, for which he has faced severe criticism from various quarters in Punjab who have threatened him with social boycott.

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