| Ludhiana |
October 15, 2020 11:16:18 am
THE ONGOING Kisan Samvad Sammelan of BJP in Punjab was one of the main reason for inconclusive talks between a delegation of 28 farmer unions with the Union Agriculture Ministry on Wednesday over the farm laws and Electricity Act.
The eight-day-long event began on Tuesday and is slated to go on till October 20 in the form of virtual rallies in eight districts. Every day, the rally is addressed by a Union minister. It started from Amritsar on October 13, addressed by Union Ministry of Aviation Hardeep Puri and on October 14, Union Minister of State of Agriculture Kailash Chaudhary addressed a rally for farmers of Sangrur and Barnala. Likewise, on October 14, Smriti Irani will be addressing this sammelan in Bathinda for Bathinda and Faridkot ahrtiyas while on October 15, Minister of State of Finance Anurag Thakur will be addressing a virtual rally for Ludhiana’s agriculture scientists.
BJP playing a double game: Farmers
Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, general secretary of BKU (Ugrahan) group, said, “It seems that BJP is playing games to make the situation tense in Punjab. On one hand, they invited all farmer organisations’ heads to Delhi for a meeting. They invited us twice in a span of 5 days and on the other hand, they are running a parallel program to defame us through virtual rallies. At Wednesday’s meeting at Krishi Bhawan, not a single minister was present in the meeting while 8 ministers have been deputed to address virtual rallies in Punjab for 8 days. Why can’t these 8 ministers talk to us first? I fail to understand why our PM is running away from facing direct questions from masses? In the virtual rallies, they say that people who are organising protests are misguiding farmers and on the same day, they are calling us for a meeting in Delhi. When we asked the secretary why the double game was being played with us, he was not able to give any satisfactory reply. Hence, we walked out of the meeting. Our union gave him the memorandum and likewise, a 7-member delegation of the other 27 unions also gave their memorandum and came out. We even burnt copies of farm laws outside Krishi Bhawan.”
Balbir Singh Rajewal, president of BKU (Rajewal) said, “They have insulted us by calling us in Delhi. These 8 ministers could have virtually addressed the issues of farmers as well by contacting the protesting unions, but they believe in playing a double game and spoiling the atmosphere of Punjab. This will increase anger of protesting farmers against BJP and our protests will be intensified in Punjab now.”
Samvad sammelans are political programs: BJP spokesperson
Anil Sareen, spokesperson of Punjab BJP, said, “Samvad sammelans are our political programs and we have every right to explain to farmers that the farm laws have great benefits but they are not being told about those benefits. Farmers’ meetings and sammelan should not be linked with each other as BJP had already announced that we will reach out to farmers to tell them the benefits of these farm laws. We never objected to any of their protests being done for the past many days, hence, they should also not have any objections about our programs.”
Meanwhile, Kailash Chaudhary, while addressing a virtual sammelan at Sangrur on Wednesday said, “These laws are to give freedom to the farmer and make them self-reliant but the opposition party (Congress) is not allowing farmers to understand them and hence we are reaching out to masses to make them understand these laws.”
BKU (Ugrahan) has so far organised pakka dharnas outside the homes of 6 BJP leaders in Payal (Ludhiana), Kotkapura (Faridkot), Sangrur, Sunam, Budhlada and Nabha and from October 15, eight districts will be covered.
Former Union minister Harsimrat Badal said, “Shocking that the Government of India called farmer organisations to Delhi to hold sham talks to discredit them. This is no way to behave with farmers agitating for three months. No minister had time to meet them while an army of ministers was conducting virtual rallies in Punjab. BJP needs to clarify which farmer union leaders they had spoken with before presenting the ordinances, dogli rajniti nahi chalegi chahe oh kender di hove ya Punjab di sarkar di hove (double-faceted politics will not work whether it is of the Centre or state government. Now it is time to intensify the struggle and an answer will be given to the Centre for this insult to farmers.”
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