Dramatic visuals have emerged of protesters – backing farmers’ demand for repeal of centre’s three contentious agriculture laws – pushing past a police barricade outside BJP minister’s house in Haryana.
A short video shows tens of protestors, carrying red flags, trying to advance towards Minister Kamlesh Dhanda’s house in Haryana’s Kaithal and succeeding with the use of a tractor.
No one was injured in the face-off.
This is the latest in line of incidents that reflect growing anger against the state’s ruling dispensation – the BJP and the Janata Jannayak Party (JJP) – amid ongoing protests against the three “black laws” along Delhi’s borders.
The incident also comes close on heels of BJP losing mayoral races in Sonipat and Ambala, as well as three of five other civic body polls.
While the BJP attributed the losses to its absentee voters who were “on holiday during the polls”, dismissing local sentiment against the farm laws as a contributing factor, their leaders continue to face the music.
Numerous villages across Haryana, including Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala’s home seat of Uchana Kalan, have issued orders telling people to socially boycott all members and leaders of BJP and JJP, including Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
They have also issued statements condemning the attempts by the government and its leaders to spread misinformation about the farmers “misled by the Opposition”.
Since protests against the farm laws started in Punjab and Haryana, Mr Khattar’s convoy has been gheraoed and forced to change route at least twice.
Mr Chautala, whose party’s main voter base is farmers, also had to cancel a scheduled visit after villagers dug up a temporary helipad and chanted “Dushyant Chautala go back”.
While the JJP chief, whose support props up the BJP government in Haryana, has repeatedly said he would quit if he is unable to ensure Minimum Support Price for farmers, Mr Khattar has gone a step ahead and said he would quit politics altogether if this demand is not met.
A few kilometres away in Delhi, lakhs of farmers and their families – from neighbouring Haryana and Punjab besides other states – have been camping in biting cold and rain since November 26 demanding that the laws be repealed stating these would leave them vulnerable to exploitation by corporates.
Farmers have added that they were not among the stakeholders consulted before the laws were enacted.
On Saturday, days after their sixth inconclusive meeting with the centre, leaders of the farmers’ “Delhi Chalo” movement said they would amplify protests if the centre does not accept their two chief demands – legal guarantee for MSP and repeal of the three laws.
A seventh round of farmer-centre talks is due on January 4.