Farmers, BJP activists face off in Punjab, Haryana


CHANDIGARH: Tension prevailed between protesting farmers and BJP activists in Punjab and Haryana on Friday over functions to mark the 96th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The farmers have been protesting against the three farm laws brought by the BJP-led central government.

The main events where the disruption, even minor scuffles, took place were held at Punjab’s Bathinda and Jalandhar towns and Kaithal town in Haryana.

At Bathinda, the agitated farmers reached the spot where the BJP workers were going to hold a function to celebrate the birth anniversary and allegedly manhandled them and pelted them with stones.

Police had to use mild force to disperse the protesters.

Later, the farmers staged on sit-in protest there.

Farmer union BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) leader Mothu Kotra said: “The farmers are sitting in the open despite severe cold on the Delhi borders and the BJP was celebrating something here. As a mark of protest we didn’t allow them to mark the function.”

“Moreover, our protests against state BJP leaders have been going on for over three months,” he told the media.

Likewise, the farmers didn’t allow the BJP to hold a similar event in Jalandhar city.

In Haryana’s Kaithal town, the farmers forced Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) legislator Ishwar Singh to leave the function on the occasion of ‘Sushasan Diwas’ midway owing to mass protest.

The police had to escort the legislator to leave the venue.

The farmers on Friday also took over toll plazas across Haryana for three days to lodge their protest against the three contentious farm laws.

In a post-electoral alliance, the JJP had extended support to the BJP, which won 40 seats, six short of the majority mark.

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