Chandigarh, January 7
Ahead of the talks between the farmers and the Centre’s representatives on Friday, two Punjab BJP leaders today met Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
As hundreds of farmers continued with their protest, the Supreme Court on Thursday expressed concern over the possible spread of Covid-19 and asked the Centre if they were taking precautionary measures against the pandemic.
Surjit Kumar Jyani and Harjeet Grewal discussed with Shah the ongoing situation arising out of the agitation.
Grewal said they apprised Shah about the “deteriorating” law and order situation in Punjab. He alleged state-sponsored violence was being unleashed on BJP workers. Jyani said: “The houses of BJP leaders have been gheraoed for several weeks. We won’t tolerate ‘goonda’ elements,” he said.
Sources say since civic body elections have been announced in Punjab, the BJP leaders are wary of the repercussions of the protest on party’s poll prospects. The duo earlier met Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar. Meanwhile, the leaders today launched a fresh attack on union representatives. Jyani alleged many farmer leaders had political aspirations and wanted to contest elections after returning to Punjab.
“There are practical problems in dealing with 32 leaders. Nobody is ready to listen. We are aware they represent 32 unions, but they should choose their leader,” he said.
Grewal questioned the credentials of the farm leaders. “Joginder Singh Ugrahan belongs to a Naxalite faction called Nagi Reddy Group in Punjab,” he alleged. He also questioned the presence of Yogendra Yadav and CPM leader Hannan Mollah at the protest site. Jagmohan Singh, general secretary, BKU (Dakaunda), said: “They earlier called us Khalistanis. Now they see a political motive. It is part of our union’s constitution that leaders can’t contest elections.” — TNS