A group of farmers Tuesday showed black flags to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Ambala while another held a protest against state Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister JP Dalal during his visit to Bhiwani’s Bahal town.
Khattar had gone to Ambala to address public meetings in support of BJP’s mayoral candidate Vandna Sharma and other ward candidates for the upcoming civic bodies polls. A large number of farmers had gathered in Ambala ahead of Khattar’s visit.
As soon as Khattar reached Agrasen Chowk in Ambala’s Manmohan Nagar to address a public meeting, the farmers gheraoed his convoy, waived black flags and raised slogans against the government. They said they will continue to protest till the three farm laws are not repealed.
A large number of police personnel deployed near the Chowk and managed to secure a safe passage for CM’s convoy through old Hissar road.
The farmers later started gathering at the Anaj Mandi and also tried to block the Ambala-Hisar highway.
Meanwhile, in Bahal town, farmers staged a protest when Dalal went to a village to address a public meeting. The farmers had planned to show black flags to the minister, but the police stopped the agitators away from the route leading to the venue of the public meeting. Sources in the farm unions said they will show black flags to the CM when he will go to the village on December 27.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Dalal claimed that it was the handiwork of the opposition parties who are “not accepting the mandate as Modi ji and BJP are winning one after another election”.
“They (opposition) are not able to win in the electoral battle. Instead of peaceful protests, they indulge in the aggressive actions. It’s unfortunate and it should not happen. By this way, 200-400 workers of the opposition, can show flags or attack any leader. There are attempts to create the atmosphere like of West Bengal in the entire country,” Dalal added, in an apparent reference to alleged recent attacks on the convoys of the party leaders, including BJP national president JP Nadda, in the Trinamool Congress-ruled state.
However, a farmer leader, Suresh Koth, claimed that the anger among the people is increasing because of “drama being played by the BJP leaders to divert the attention” from the farmers’ agitation. “BJP leaders are now talking about the completion of SYL canal. Why was BJP not been able to get the canal completed even while being in the power at Centre and in Haryana for the past six years? Now, they want to break the unity of farmers of Punjab and Haryana who are jointly fighting against the three anti-farmer laws,” said Koth.
A political observer from Hisar, Rishi Saini said, “These days Haryana is witnessing the strongest agitation of its history”. “There has never been such a long and sustained agitation in the state till now. This is even bigger than the ‘Nyay Yudh’ (battle for justice) of Devi Lal launched in 1986,” said Saini.
Earlier, the farmers had shown black flags to Union minister Ratan Lal Kataria and Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij when they had gone to attend different events in neighbouring areas of Ambala. Kataria is BJP MP from Ambala.
A week back, BJP MP Nayab Singh Saini faced the ire of farmers in Yamunanagar as they raised slogans against the Centre for not repealing the three agri laws. Saini, an MP from Kurukshetra, was visiting Khurdi village to lay the foundation stones of some projects and inaugurate a community centre. The protesters had thrown black paint on the foundation stones.
With tens of thousands of farmers sitting at Delhi borders demanding withdrawal of the three laws, the farmers are now holding protests whenever any BJP minister goes to villages or towns in Haryana. Even BJP workers had to face their wrath when they had gone to hold an awareness camp on the agri laws at Gatauli village of Jind district two days back. In Fatehabad, the BJP leaders were not allowed to observe fast at a public place as part of the party’s campaign on SYL canal recently.