With farmers refusing to yield in their ongoing protests against farm laws and pressure mounting on Haryana’s BJP-JJP government, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala on Tuesday reiterated that there was no threat to the state’s coalition government and it will complete its full five year term.
Hours after the apex court stayed implementation of farm laws, Khattar along with senior BJP-JJP leaders held an hour-long meeting with Union Minister Amit Shah in Delhi. Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, BJP state president Om Prakash Dhankar, state Education Minister Kanwar Pal Gujjar, JJP state president Nishan Singh were part of the delegation that met Shah.
After the meeting, Khattar said, “Haryana is epicentre of farmers’ agitation so we discussed the law and law in the state. There is no point in speculating about the future of this government, it will complete its term.”
“There is no threat to the Haryana government and it will last its full five year term,” Dushyant said. He added they discussed each and every point related to the farmers hoping that the SC forming a committee will resolve the matter.
Taking about the farmers’ proposed tractor parade on Republic Day, CM Khattar had said earlier in the day that “the matter will be handled and such a thing will not take place”.
Speaking on the matter after meeting Shah, he said: “We also discussed about holding celebrations for January 26 without any trouble… It’s a national festival and everyone understands its importance and the value attached to it.”
Khattar added that farmers should now lift the dharna as “the Supreme Court has taken the matter in its purview.”
The CM said the fate of the farm laws — whether to keep the same structure, ask to some amendments or ask to repeal the same — is now in the hands of the apex court.
Before meeting Shah, Dushyant met MLAs of his party, JJP, at a farm house in Delhi, in which a section of MLAs said it would cost the ruling alliance heavily if the laws were not repealed. Some JJP legislators have also demanded introduction of a law to ensure purchase of crops at minimum support price.
Only eight of the JJP’s ten MLAs took part in the meeting. These two were party’s Narnaund MLA Ram Kumar Gautam, who is known for his rebellious stance against Dushyant Chautala, and Guhla Cheeka MLA Ishwar Singh, who said that he could not attend the meeting because of some work.
“I have nothing to do with the JJP (meeting). Not going to Delhi…the sentiment in Haryana is against the three farm laws and it will cost the ruling BJP-JJP alliance heavily in the coming days,” JJP MLA Ram Kumar Gautam said in the run up to the meeting.
Before attending the meeting, JJP MLA Jogi Ram Sihag had said: “We will request Dushyant ji to convey our feelings to Amit Shah ji.”
While Sihag could not be reached after the meeting, party’s Tohana legislator Devender Babli told The Indian Express they have given suggestions to the Deputy CM so that he can convey “our sentiments to the central government”.
“Even the private traders should be made bound not to purchase the crops from farmers below minimum support price (MSP). We have opined that a law should be framed for it,” said Babli.
Babli said that the matter of ongoing farmer agitation should be sorted out as early as possible because they are facing problems in the cold. “The country is suffering big economic loss because of the ongoing agitation,” he said.
On the issue of three farm laws, the legislator added that the ball has now gone to the SC’s court and its decision should be acceptable to all.
Julana MLA Amarjeet Dhanda said: “A law should be framed for MSP. Farmers are upset because of three farm laws. Either these should be repealed or an amendment be made so that these don’t cause losses to the farmers. Farmer is our annadata.”
Shahabad MLA Ramkaran Kala added, “A decision should be taken early to resolve the matter so that the farmers may return to their homes. The farmers should be satisfied.”
Kala and Sihag were among those MLAs of JJP who had earlier joined farmers in their protest.
(WITH PTI INPUTS)