Farmers protest BJP candidates across Punjab

These demonstrations mark another chapter in the ongoing saga of farmer frustration over unmet demands…reports Asian Lite News

Farmer discontent boiled over in Punjab on Sunday as protests erupted against BJP candidate Dinesh Babbu in Batala and party leader Arvind Khanna in Barnala. These demonstrations mark another chapter in the ongoing saga of farmer frustration over unmet demands, a sentiment that has been simmering despite the election fervour surrounding the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Throughout the campaign trail, BJP candidates such as Hans Raj Hans, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, and Preneet Kaur have encountered the ire of farmers, who have resorted to showing black flags and vocalizing their grievances. The anger reached a crescendo in Fatehgarh Churian, where farmers rallied against Mr. Babbu, the BJP nominee from the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat, prompting police intervention to prevent the situation from escalating.

In the face of mounting protests, BJP candidate Mr. Babbu attempted to reassure farmers, asserting that only his party could effectively address their concerns through dialogue. However, the demonstrators remained steadfast, expressing skepticism towards political promises and a determination to hold leaders accountable.

Similar scenes unfolded in Barnala, where BJP leader Arvind Khanna faced the wrath of protesting farmers during his campaign. Allegations flew from both sides, with Mr. Khanna accusing AAP workers of instigating the protests, while protesters criticized the BJP government’s handling of farmer issues.

Meanwhile, BJP candidate Taranjit Singh Sandhu, hailing from a farming family, reiterated his commitment to improving farmers’ incomes despite facing their ire on the campaign trail. The farmers, under the banner of Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), have vowed to oppose the BJP in the upcoming polls, citing the government’s failure to address their demands, including a law on minimum support price (MSP).

The ‘Delhi Chalo’ march, led by farmer unions SKM and Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM), underscores the depth of farmer discontent, with demands for a legal guarantee of MSP for crops. Since February 13, farmers have maintained a presence at the Shambhu and Khanauri border points between Punjab and Haryana, symbolizing their resolve to fight for their rights.

As the polling for the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab approaches on June 1, the farmer protests serve as a stark reminder of the challenges facing political parties in winning over this crucial voter demographic. The outcome of the elections will not only shape the political landscape but also determine the future trajectory of farmer-government relations in the region.

BJP MP attacks Punjab CM over unpaid salaries to cops


Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu on Sunday attacked Punjab Chief Minister and AAP leader Bhagwant Mann over the unpaid salaries of more than 85,000 Punjab police personnel and said that while the crucial phase of elections is underway, the morale of the security force is low.

The BJP leader said that the Punjab Chief Minister should clarify to the people of Punjab why the salaries of 85,000 employees of Punjab police are unpaid.

Taking to social media handle X, the Ludhiana MP posted, “Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, please tell the people of Punjab why 85,000 employees of Punjab police have not been paid a salary for March and the April salary is almost due. Elections are on, safety and security is very important but the morale of the force is very low.”

Ravneet Bittu criticised the Punjab Chief Minister’s false claims of no lack of funds in Punjab and questioned the condition of the state where the law enforcement agency of the state itself has due salary.

“The state is heading for elections and the police force has a major role in executing it peacefully but what will the police employees standing on the naka or road do if he is not being paid by the state government for the last one and half months,” said Bittu.

The BJP leader also said that the issue of unpaid paychecks has affected the employees’ family budgets and made them unable to carry on with their routine requirements.

“We all know school admissions, uniforms, books and fees have to be paid around this time of the year. The issue of unpaid salaries has shaken the family budget of the employees and they are unable to carry on with their routine requirements,” said Bittu.

Bittu questioned the Chief Minister to stop making hollow claims and admit the state is bankrupt or tell why there is a delay in the release of the salary of the police force.

“Even if there is some problem with the state treasury the state government should have prepared itself with a backup plan. The morale of the force is very low now but because of the disciplined force, they can’t protest or go on strike,” he said.

Adding further he said that the Punjab Chief Minister has broken all the records of delay in the salary which never happened earlier.

“What will happen to our law and order if the morale of the force is not boosted? The government employees of some other departments have also been ruing over the government’s laxity in paying salaries,” claimed the BJP leader.

Ravneet Singh Bittu joined the BJP at the party headquarters in Delhi earlier in March, in a major setback to Congress, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Ravneet Singh Bittu is the grandson of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh and the son of former Punjab minister Tej Parkash Singh.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, Bittu defeated Simarjeet Singh Bains from the Lok Insaaf Party by 76,372 votes.

In 2014, he defeated the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Harvinder Singh Phoolka with a margin of 19,709 votes.

Polling for the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab will take place in the last phase on June 1.

Aam Aadmi Party and Congress are contesting the election in Punjab separately despite being in alliance in other states.

Yesterday, in yet another blow to the Congress party, Tajinder Singh Bittu joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the party headquarters in Delhi on Saturday in the presence of Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and party general secretary Vinod Tawde.

Tajinder Singh Bittu resigned from his post as AICC Secretary-in-Charge of Himachal Pradesh and primary membership Congress.

This comes at a crucial time, in the backdrop of Lok Sabha elections being held across the nation. Bittu’s exit marks another setback for the Congress party, which has witnessed an exodus of big leaders in the last few weeks.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the INC-led UPA alliance won eight seats, while the NDA secured four. The Aam Aadmi Party, in its debut, won one seat. (ANI)

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