Haryana Farmers’ Anger Unabated, Another State Minister Faces Ire
Angry farmers in Haryana continued to protest for a second day today against the BJP, its allies, and their leaders in the state. Protesters today demonstrated at a meeting of party workers in Fatehabad district which had state Cooperatives Minister Banwari Lal in attendance. Another programme at Jhajjar, too, was targeted.
Like yesterday in Hisar and Yamunanagar districts, the police had been deployed and barricades installed in anticipation of trouble. However, the farmers pulled aside the hurdles and clashed with the cops.
The Jhajjar event, involving BJP workers, was to be attended by MP Dr Arvind Sharma, area in-charge Vinod Tawde, and state President Om Prakash Dhankhad.
Despite being kept a secret, farmers managed to reach the venue. Mr Tawde and Mr Dhankad were unable to reach the event till last reports came in.
The BJP has planned a series of events through the state over this month, which the farmers seem to be targeting.
Yesterday, they faced off with the police in Yamunanagar, where state Transport Minister Moolchand Sharma was scheduled to address a party meeting. Similar scenes were witnessed in Hisar where Mr Dhankar was set to attend a programme at the Guru Jambeshwar University.
The farmers had earlier given a call to not allow BJP-Jannayak Janata Party leaders to address any public event.
Having opposed the Centre’s three new farm laws for more than six months now, sections of the farmers have been targeting the BJP’s functionaries individually.
The laws have been viewed as threatening farmers’ livelihoods, especially on the minimum support price front. Despite several assurances from the Centre, they have not backed down.
A large number of them is camped at key border points of Delhi. Most of the protesters are from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, though there are some from other parts of the country, too.
Haryana’s Manohar Lal Khattar-led government has for many months now tried to curb their show of dissent by blocking roads to Delhi and shutting or slowing down telecom services.
This has only intensified the farmers’ anger.
Political leaders, especially those of the BJP, have faced intense protests during visits to various parts of the state. Sometimes these have turned violent.
Mr Khattar had, last month, even warned the farmers saying it “won’t be good for anyone to cross their limit”. Those running the government have a responsibility to meet people, he had said.
To influence opinions and help its workers handle the situation arising out of the intense opposition to the farm laws, the state BJP has been organising outreach programmes in various districts on almost a daily basis.
It is mostly these events that the farmers have been protesting at.