‘I could not look the farmer, the ahrtiya in the eye’

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Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | October 1, 2020 3:19:25 am

farm bills, farmer bills, farmer protests, Haryana farmer protests, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Amarinder singh, Punjab Opposition SAD, Punjab farmer protests, Punjab farmers, Punjab on farm bills, India news, Indian ExpressFarmers in Punjab have been protesting against the farm Bills. (File)

THE FARMERS’ protests over the Centre’s agri Bills have now spurred a host of resignations among grassroots leaders of the BJP. It started on September 27 from Ferozepur when three leaders resigned from primary membership of the party. In the last 3-4 days, many from Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Barnala, Ferozepur and Mansa have done the same.

These include five councillors — Jagjit Singh Bains, Jasbir Kaur Bains, Ram Lal, Jaswant Jassa and Manoj Kumar — of the Gurdaspur Municipal Council. This parliamentary constituency is represented by BJP MP Sunny Deol. Gurbhachan Singh Babbehali, president of Shiromani Akali Dal’s Gurdaspur unit said, “All five sitting BJP MCs of Gurdaspur Municipal Council have joined SAD on September 28 in the presence of SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal when he came to Gurdaspur. They were really upset that farmers’ were not being heard despite repeated representations and even the state leadership was turning a blind eye to them.”

Apart from this, Nishan Singh Jhola from Taragarh area of Pathankot has also left BJP. Nishan Singh told the media, “I am unhappy over the state of BJP towards farmers who are already in distress. We are grassroot-level workers, even though we have not been told in detail about these Bills which have now become laws. How are we going to explain to farmers? I am on the protesting farmers’ side and hence I am resigning from the party.”

Mahavir Singh Gill, president of the Ahrtiya Association of Gurdaspur, said, ”When we organised a dharna on the national highway on September 25, many BJP workers had walked in the dharna and sat with us, we never called them. Hence, grassroot level workers are feeling disgruntled due to sudden changes done by NDA.”

Kuldeep Singh from Dulcheke village of Ferozepur, is yet another BJP worker who has resigned from primary membership. In his video message, he said, “I am former Yuva Morcha president of Ferozepur. But now I am feeling suffocated. I have to live in the same village with farmers. I have to go with them to mandis and hence, I am with them. I am upset over the farm laws and hence I am resigning from the party.”

In Bhadson area of Patiala, Sanjeev Sood, former mandal president, BJP, has resigned, while in Patiala city, Payal Modgill, who remained district general secretary of the mahila morcha of BJP four times, has also resigned. Payal joined SAD along with her supporters on Monday. BJP leaders Raja Singh Behlha and Bachittar Dhaliwal from Mehal Kalan area of Barnala resigned from the party and joined SAD on Tuesday.

“The list is long. Many BJP ward-level workers, urban and rural sector workers are in line to resign from the party. Already many have started attending dharnas in support of farmers on their own,” said Charanjeet Brar, political advisor to SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal.

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