New Delhi: Many top leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lashed out at the farmers’ protest on Thursday, with Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb claiming that ‘Maoists have joined the protest’ and Gujarat deputy CM Nitin Patel saying that the protest has the support of “anti-national elements, terrorists, Khalistanis, communists and pro-China people”.
Since the protests began at the borders of Delhi against the Centre’s three farm laws, many leaders of the ruling BJP have claimed – without evidence – that the farmers have been ‘misled’ by opposition parties or have the support of ‘anti-nationals’.
This trend continued on Thursday, when Tripura CM Deb ‘appealed‘ to the farmers, saying they should not “come under the trap of communists”. He claimed that Maoists have joined the protest against the laws, but did not provide any evidence to support his statement.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, meanwhile, claimed that the farmers are being ‘misled’ by opposition parties. He claimed that opposition parties are unable to digest that construction for a Ram temple in Ayodhya has begun, and are fuelling the protests against the three laws.
“They are angry. Those who cannot tolerate that a grand Ram temple is being built in Ayodhya…are angry because Prime Minister Narendra Modi has even kickstarted the construction of a grand Ram temple,” Adityanath said, according to NDTV.
Gujarat deputy CM Nitin Patel said the protest has the support of “anti-national elements, terrorists, Khalistanis, communists and pro-China people”.
“In the name of farmers, anti-national elements, terrorists, Khalistanis, Communists and pro-China people have sneaked into the agitation… We can see them having pizza, pakodi… All that is coming free of cost… Anti-national elements are giving them lakhs of rupees to stay put…,” Patel said.
Some BJP leaders have used the ‘pizza langar’ organised at the farmers’ protest to advance their claim that the agitation has been ‘hijacked’. However, as the Indian Express wrote in an editorial:
“Real farmers don’t eat pizzas, we are told. They eat roti, dal, chawal and sabzi, followed by a tall, frothing glass of lassi, because that’s the image that is most convenient for us to believe — just as convenient as the image of a farmer who, having worked hard all day, goes to bed happy in the knowledge that mehnat ka phal meetha hota hai. The bitter fruits of reality — ever-decreasing margins, rising debts, frequent crop failures — might as well not exist.”
In an opinion piece published by the Indian Express, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan hit out at the Congress for ‘instigating farmers’.
“For years, one political party after another had espoused the need to give our farmers a better deal. It is ironic that when an opportunity presented itself after the passage of the bills, the Congress and some other parties with vested interests are instigating farmers to oppose the farm laws, which promise to improve the economic condition of our farmers.”