Stir against farm laws ‘completely political’, nothing to do with farmers' welfare: Hry BJP chief

PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 13-09-2021 18:35 IST | Created: 13-09-2021 18:35 IST
Stir against farm laws ‘completely political’, nothing to do with farmers' welfare: Hry BJP chief
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Haryana BJP chief O P Dhankar on Monday hit out at the farm leaders spearheading the ongoing agitation against the Centre’s agri laws and said the stir is “now completely political” and has nothing to do with farmers' welfare. Dhankar was speaking at a news conference here and gave details about the BJP's 20-day “seva and samarpan” campaign comprising various welfare activities to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi's “two decades in public service”.

The campaign will commence on Modi's birthday on September 17.

The BJP president said the farmers’ agitation has gone beyond its original agenda which was to seek improvements in the farm laws.

“This agitation is now completely political; it has nothing to do with farmers' welfare,” Dhankar said when asked about the protesters asserting that they will continue to oppose public functions of BJP leaders in the state.

“This agitation has now gone beyond its agenda. These farm union leaders (who are part of the ongoing agitation) initially said they wanted some improvements in the three laws. But when that issue came up, they changed track and remained adamant on demand for repeal of these laws,” he said, adding the protesters were opposing the laws only for the sake of opposing them.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, have been agitating at Delhi's borders for over nine months. They have been demanding the repeal of the laws which they are afraid will do away with the MSP system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.

Over 10 rounds of talks with the central government that has been projecting the laws as major agricultural reforms have failed to break the deadlock between the two parties.

Dhankar, the former Haryana agriculture minister, asserted that the central government has always kept its doors open for dialogue and continues to do so.

“For the government, farmers' interest is above all,” he said, adding the BJP-led government in Haryana too has taken several pro-farmer initiatives during the last nearly seven years.

Taking a dig at the opposition Congress, he said some of their leaders have been attacking the Haryana government on the farmers issue in spite of several pro-farmer measures undertaken by the present dispensation, but they must ask their party-ruled regimes in neighbouring states what have they done in comparison.

“Haryana gives the highest compensation for crop damage. We procure bajra at Rs 2,250 (per quintal), why don't they ask their government in Rajasthan to procure at the same rate. For four years, sugarcane rates were not increased in Congress-ruled Punjab,” he claimed.

While Haryana procures 10 crops at MSP, why does the Congress not ask its party-ruled neighbouring states to procure as many crops, he added.

He also accused the Congress of putting the Swaminathan Commission report recommendations on the backburner for eight years when they were in power at the Centre.

He further claimed farmers in Haryana were happy with the schemes of the present government and said, “agitation by one or two organisations” cannot be called a stir by the entire farming community.

Meanwhile, giving details of the “seva and samarpan” campaign, Dhankar said party workers will also urge people to get vaccinated against Covid and facilitate them. The BJP workers, as part of the campaign, will also carry out a large-scale cleanliness drive on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and people will be encouraged to use Khadi and local products.

As the prime minister will be turning 71, we will hold blood donation camps at 71 places in the state and 71,000 trees will be planted in cities and villages, Dhankar said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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