Panchayat poll results show farm protests have no impact in western UP: BJP


The BJP’s stunning performance in Uttar Pradesh’s Zila Panchayat polls has boosted the morale of the party ahead of next year’s Assembly polls, especially in the western part of state where farmers are protesting against the three contentious farm laws.

The saffron party has won all the Zila Panchayat polls except one in Baghpat, but also won Muzaffarnagar, the home district of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait. The saffron camp believes that the result has built a positive atmosphere in favour of BJP among voters and cadre ahead of next year’s polls and also exposed the so-called farmer leaders.

Interestingly, of the 18 Jat-dominated districts of western Uttar Pradesh, the BJP won 17 districts. Since the start of the farmers’ agitation it was believed that Jats were unhappy with the saffron party. A senior functionary said that now all the doubts were cleared that no one in Uttar Pradesh is unhappy with the BJP and all support the development model of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Union Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Sanjeev Balyan told IANS that the result has sent a positive message to voters and cadre months before Assembly polls when some people were trying to mislead farmers in the western Uttar Pradesh.

“BJP has won all the Zila Panchayat polls in western Uttar Pradesh except one. It shows that people are with us and they are not misled by some people who are doing politics in their name,” Balyan said.

The BJP believes that the results also exposed the influence of Tikait and his BKU, who not lost only his home district Muzaffarnagar but also the ward in which his village falls.

“Tikait’s Kisan Union, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rastriya Lok Dal (RLD) unsuccessfully contested together to defeat BJP. Forget about defeating BJP, Tikait lost in his own village. BJP’s Vikash Sharma won from Tikait’s village. People now understand that they are doing politics and more interested in themselves than the farmers,” Balyan said.

BJP leaders feel that Tikait and his union were sitting idle for over a decade and losing ground and so they joined farmers’ protest from Punjab only to make themselves relevant.

Panchayati Raj Minister in Uttar Pradesh, Bhupendra Singh said that Tikait was declared unemployed many years ago and he has misused farmers from western Uttar Pradesh to get himself some work or employment.

“Everyone know Tikait’s agenda and reasons for farmers’ protest in Punjab and Haryana is different from the one in western Uttar Pradesh. For example, in western UP contract farming of sugarcane crop is in practice for many years. Tikait is doing politics, and for last five to 10 years he was sitting idle and become ‘Ghoshit Berozgar’ (declared unemployed) while trying to get political employment by using farmers,” Singh said.