The Bharatiya Janata Party leaders are now facing resistance in their attempts to ‘reach-out’ to the farmers in western Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP has asked its leaders to connect with farmers and explain to them the benefits of the farm laws.
Union Minister Sanjeev Baliyan, who visited the Shoram village in Muzaffarnagar on Monday, faced hostility, and clashes were reported between villagers and supporters of the BJP leader.
Baliyan, however, was escorted out of the village safely by his security personnel.
According to Dharmendra Malik of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), the head of ‘Jawla khap’ Sachin Chaudhary, refused to meet Union Minister Sanjeev Baliyan “who was trying to get in touch with him at the behest of Home Minister Amit Shah”.
In a video message, Chaudhary can be heard saying that “no one from the ruling BJP should try to meet me individually. They should meet the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha and their decision will be final regarding the agitation against the three farm laws”.
“What we were suspecting has started happening,” said Sudhir Panwar, a Samajwadi Party leader from Bhainswal in Shamli.
“Farmers of western UP are upset due to BJP’s attempts to divide the agitation on the basis of caste. In a democracy every person has the right to expression, therefore a ban on entry of leaders of a particular party is not the democratic way but people are angry,” he said.
Bhainswal is the headquarter of 32 village khaps. The February 5 ‘Mahapanchayat’ held in opposition of the farm laws saw the participation of members from non-Jat, Dalits and Muslims along with Jats.
After the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, western Uttar Pradesh region witnessed a deep polarisation with the Hindu Jats, non-Jats, and Dalits gravitating towards the BJP.
The farmers’ agitation is bridging the divide with the Jats and Muslims joining hands against the farm laws.
A call for a social boycott of ‘all those’ who are supporting farm laws was also given at the Mahapanchayat.
Meanwhile BJP MLA from western Uttar Pradesh, who spoke to IANS on condition of anonymity, said, “It is difficult for us to connect with farmers and their leaders in the prevailing situation. I have excellent relations with several farmer leaders but they have called me and asked me not to visit them since the situation could turn unpleasant.”
He said that farmers’ agitation was now having an adverse impact on the BJP and the central leadership should resolve the issue at the earliest to avoid reverses in the upcoming Assembly elections due next year.