Punjab BJP leaders Surjit Kumar Jyani, Harjit Singh Grewal face calls for social boycott over remarks on farm protests

In the recent past, Jyani and Grewal have been mediating between the protesting farmers and the Central government

FP Staff January 11, 2021 11:38:30 IST
Punjab BJP leaders Surjit Kumar Jyani, Harjit Singh Grewal face calls for social boycott over remarks on farm protests

Punjab BJP leaders Surjit Kumar Jyani and Harjit Singh Grewal.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha has called for the social boycott of Punjab Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Surjit Kumar Jyani and Harjit Singh Grewal over their statements on the ongoing farmers' protest.

In the recent past, Jyani and Grewal have been mediating between the protesting farmers and the Central government. Jyani was chairing the BJP's coordination committee for interacting with farmers in Punjab last year on the three farm bills, which at that time had not been passed by Parliament. Grewal was a member of the panel.

Jyani had recently said that Maoists have "entered the (farmers') movement and are not letting this issue get resolved."

He also said this movement is leaderless and therefore, it becomes difficult to hold a dialogue with them.

Grewal also made a similar allegation of Maoists having entered the protest.

The decision by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha to boycott the two leaders comes in this backdrop. The protest leaders said that the BJP leaders have continuously been making allegations against farmers and are now levelling false allegations against farm leaders, according to a report in The Times of India.

The report quoted farmer leader Darshan Pal as saying, "They (Jyani and Grewal) need to be thrown out of Punjab as they are working against the interests of Punjab despite residing in the same state. Farmers have been asked to socially boycott them and oppose them in Punjab."

The protesters have urged farmers not to take Grewal's land on lease for tilling, and also to boycott anyone who defies the call.

In response, Grewal struck a defiant note, saying he would take legal action against the protesters. “I am not scared of such threats,” he was quoted as saying by The Tribune.

On 5 January, Jyani and Grewal had held a nearly two-hour-long meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the farm laws.

After the meeting, Grewal told PTI that the prime minister understands Punjab very well. He said that the prime minister 'is looking after the party's work and has travelled across the state.'

Jyani underlined that Modi is concerned about farmers and said the government is always ready to work in the interest of farmers.

When asked about the farm laws, Jyani said,"Farmer unions should not be adamant about their demand for repealing the laws. The government has always been ready to do everything in the interest of farmers."

He also said this movement is leaderless and therefore, it becomes difficult to hold a dialogue with them.

The farmers' union should elect one or more leaders to negotiate with the government, Jyani suggested.

Thousands of agriculturists, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting against the laws for the last over four weeks at various border points of Delhi and demanding that the legislations be repealed.

The news laws allow farmers to sell their produce outside mandis regulated by Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs). They also remove stock limits for agricultural produce and provide a framework for contract farming. However, the protesting farmers fear that the laws may eventually lead to the dismantling of the MSP and will create large monopolies.

With inputs from PTI

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