Protesting farmers try to enter Delhi from the Singhu border with Haryana Friday afternoon | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Protesting farmers at the Singhu border between Delhi and Haryana | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
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New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged Friday that the Khalistani agenda is being propagated under the garb of the Punjab farmers’ agitation and accused the Congress — which is in office in the state — of aligning with radical elements. 

BJP IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya tweeted a purported video of protesting farmers where a man is heard citing PM Indira Gandhi’s assassination in an apparent bid to threaten PM Modi should their 3 December discussions with the government fail to resolve their grievances against the farm laws. 

Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards on 31 October 1984, when the Khalistani insurgency was raging in Punjab. The assassination followed the Operation Bluestar siege on the Golden Temple — which led to the killing of Khalistani insurgent Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale — that took place four months earlier.

The person in the video is heard saying “Indira thok di, Modi ki chhati par…” before his words become difficult to decipher. The video also includes purported media reports about Khalistan-related banners popping up at some protest venues.

Tajinder Bagga, who is the spokesperson of the Delhi BJP, also posted a number of videos and retweeted posts suggesting that the farmers protest is politically motivated, and blamed the Congress for it. 

“Anyone who raises the slogan ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ can never be a farmer. A farmer is a patriot, a farmer cannot go against the country. Those who are chanting the slogan of ‘Khalistan zindabad’ are Congress agents,” he tweeted. 

However, a Delhi BJP member, Impreet Singh Bakshi, urged social media users to refrain from labelling the farmers Khalistanis, saying the protesters “might be misguided” by the leaders of the Congress, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) or the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).


Also Read: First survey of farmers after Modi govt’s 3 farm laws is bad news for the BJP


Hashtag contest

Several farmers’ organisations, especially in Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting against the three farm laws that have also been termed anti-farmer by the opposition. One of their major demands is that MSP be made a legal provision to assure a better price to farmers.

Thousands of protesting farmers entered Haryana Thursday from various entry points at its border with Punjab, braving water cannons and tear gas shells on day one of their two-day ‘Dilli Chalo’ rally against the farm laws. The farmers entered Delhi Friday, where they are likely to hold their protest in Burari, according to farmers’ organisations.

The Modi government had passed the three farm laws in September. They are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act — pitching them as major reforms aimed at empowering farmers. However, farmers bodies in Punjab have said the laws undermine their interests. 

In light of the farmers’ protests, the Congress, which has been critical of the three farm laws, has started a social media campaign “#IamWithFarmers”. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said Friday that “the Modi government has to accept the demands of the farmers and black laws will have to be withdrawn”. 

Soon after this, the BJP started a counter hashtag, “#ModiWithFarmers”, saying the “agricultural reform laws have truly given farmers freedom from years of injustice”. 

This report has been updated with additional information, and to clarify that Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards.


Also Read: Khalistan issue has no traction left in Canada, just like in Punjab, says Indian envoy Bisaria


 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Farmers & labourers, lower castes and low paid workers of India need to rise up in a revolution and clean out the religious bigots politicians, oligarchs, corrupt bureaucrats, elite households and high caste rulers of India.

  2. If at all the farmer protests are genuine(which I doubt is…) the protestors must themselves responsibly go and get these khalistani elements arrested.

  3. BJP’s radicles are trying to twist the farmer’s demand into Khalistani agenda and movement. Mr. Amit Malviya must restrain from colouring the farmer’s demands it in unwanted anti national colour. Farmers from Haryana, UP, Rajasthan, western Maharashtra and other parts also effected by anti farmer bill. Do you label all these people also and term them as separatist. Mind you, these people’s kids are also serving in country’s defence forces, then how come they are having separate agenda in mind “BULLSHIT.”. You are trying to create a wedge between Indians. Hindu, Sikh and Muslims farmers are all one who tills and provide you food. So for stay out of it and avoid such unwanted statements. Better check with you Bhagwan ji and obtain his prior approval before passing such comments.

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