Pressure mounts on Khattar govt as ally JJP, Jat leaders extend support to Tikait

At least 50 MLAs in the 90-member House of Haryana come from farmer families and have mentioned agriculture or agriculture related activities as their source of income or profession in their poll affidavits. Amid the ongoing agitation, some Independent MLAs have withdrawn their support to the the Haryana government.
BJP JJP Khattar and Chautala
BJP JJP Khattar and Chautala

Compounding the problems for the ruling BJP-JJP alliance in Haryana, several leaders from the Jat community, including Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala’s younger brother, Friday extended support to Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait and several of them started marching towards Delhi borders where farmers are leading the agitation against the Centre’s agri laws.

The protest, especially at Ghazipur border in Ghaziabad, got a fresh lease of life after farmers and rallied support for the movement following an impassioned appeal by Tikait. The Delhi Police has registered an FIR against Tikait and others in connection with the violence in the national capital during the farmers’ tractor rally on Republic Day.

Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) youth wing leader Digvijay Singh Chautala termed Tikait as a “true patriot” who always talks about farmers’ interests.

“Rakesh Tikait is the blood of country’s eminent farmer leader Mahender Singh Tikait. Calling him a traitor or enemy of the nation is absolutely wrong. The government should rethink its words. He has always worked for the welfare of farmers. Farmers and people like Tikait are patriots in true sense,” Digivijay said.

He said that if the governments “want to arrest somebody, they should catch hold of people like (Haryana BKU chief) Gurnam Singh Chaduni who misled the people and incited them for violence”.

JJP, the junior partner in the ruling alliance, is facing pressure from the farmers and the opposition leaders who have been demanding that it snap ties with the BJP. Party leader and Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala had earlier claimed that he will resign if he is unable to secure the minimum support price (MSP) guarantee for farmers.

As the deadlock over the agri laws continues, the pressure on Dushyant to come out in support of farmers has increased further following his uncle Abhay Chautala, who was the lone Indian National Lok Dal legislator, resigning from the Haryana Assembly.

Abhay, meanwhile, said that he will start from Ambala Saturday morning and reach Ghazipur border by 12 noon to extend support to Tikait. “The way a farmer was humiliated, the manner in which UP Police behaved with Tikait and the government’s claims that the kisan andolan is ending, I would like to appeal all the farmers to reach Tikri, Singhu and Ghazipur borders in huge numbers. I too will reach Ghazipur Saturday,” the INLD leader said.

He said Haryana farmers have always stood solidly behind their counterparts from across the country. The INLD leader also said former deputy prime minister Chaudhary Devi Lal fought for the rights of farmers throughout his life. “I call upon all leaders to rise above petty interests and extend support to peasants. We will together fight for the rights of farmers and support this agitation till the time we force the Centre to repeal these laws,” he said. “The government should also immediately withdraw these black laws and restore the true respect and honour that farmer of this nation deserves”.

At least 50 MLAs in the 90-member House of Haryana come from farmer families and have mentioned agriculture or agriculture related activities as their source of income or profession in their poll affidavits. Amid the ongoing agitation, some Independent MLAs have withdrawn their support to the the Haryana government.

One of them, Dadri MLA Sombir Sangwan, said, “I called up Tikait and told him that over 200 khaps will be reaching Ghazipur on Saturday to support the agitation. The government can not fool the people anymore. I had stayed in BJP for 20 years. I know how they took police’s help to scuttle this agitation through backdoor”.

Another Independent MLA Balraj Kundu (Meham) too announced that he will start for the Ghazipur border on Saturday with thousands of his supporters. “It is high time that politicians, who win only due to the support of farmers, got together and came out in full support of the farmers. I and thousands of my supporters will be reaching Ghazipur and stand in support of Tikait and other farmers”.

Senior Congress leader and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda too appealed farmers to reach Delhi’s borders to extend support to Tikait.

Hooda’s son and Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Hooda said rather than calling names to the innocent farmers and harassing farmer leaders, the government should accept their legitimate demands. “It is extremely unfortunate that people like Tikait are being harassed. We condemn the incident that took at Red Fort on January 26, and demand that the government get a high level inquiry conducted, identify and catch the actual culprits,” Deepender said.

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