BJP ally Beniwal joins farmers protest in Rajasthan
Jaipur, Dec 12: Farmers in Rajasthan blocked highways at several places on Saturday to protest against the Centre''s new agri laws, with BJP-ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) MP Hanuman Beniwal joining one such demonstration.
Terming the new farm laws as "anti-farmer", Beniwal, the convenor of RLP, said if Prime Minister Narendra Modi is equally concerned about the farmers, he should implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission.
He also reiterated that he would withdraw from the NDA if talks do not turn in favour of farmers.
Beniwal along with his supporters also announced that they would move towards the Rajasthan-Delhi border to protest against the new farm laws.
Addressing a ''Kisan Mahapanchayat'' organized at Kotputli, Beniwal said the Centre did not hold discussions with stakeholders before bringing the farm laws.
"When the three bills were brought, they did not talk to anyone. We are also a part of the NDA. We are also the sons of farmers. They should have talked to us. They should have told us that they are bringing such a bill for farmers. I do not know who drafted the bills... They were brought and passed," Beniwal said.
He added, "If the prime minister is equally worried about the farmers, then he should implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission report."
"These three laws are anti-farmer and the government should enact a new legislation to benefit the farmers. If the talks do not turn in favour of the farmers, I would quit the NDA and if this too does not serve the purpose, I would leave my Lok Sabha membership," Beniwal added.
If the government is not in a position to implement recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission, it should guarantee the minimum support price (MSP), the RLP leader said.
Farmers held demonstrations in several districts of the state, including Kota, Ganganagar, Bharatpur, Hanumangarh and Alwar.
At many places, toll plazas on the highways were also closed and vehicles were allowed to pass free.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot appealed to the people to maintain peace while holding agitations.
"Even on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, farmers should place their demands democratically in front of the Centre and maintain peace," Gehlot tweeted.
Former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot said the BJP-led government at the Centre should abandon its "adamant" attitude and fulfil the demands of the farmers soon.
Pilot tweeted, "Our Annadata have been struggling on the streets for the last 17 days away from their family and home against central government''''s autocracy to protect their rights in Corona crisis and harsh winter. The BJP government should abandon adamant attitude and fulfil the demands of the farmers soon."
Meanwhile, BJP state president Satish Poonia said the three agri laws passed by the Modi government are in the interest of farmers.
He said the agri laws will open the way for progress of farmers and the BJP is conducting a public awareness campaign by talking to the farmers all over the country.