Has Haryana Govt Softened Its Stand as Farmer Protests Continue?

The protesting farmers have decided to not gherao political leaders who are on personal visits.

2 min read

After six months since the protests against the new farm laws started, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) government in Haryana has shown signs of softening its stance against the farmers.

Several legislators and leaders of both parties have apologised to the farmers for their comments on the protests and FIRs against protesting farmers have been withdrawn. The farmers have reciprocated and have decided to not gherao political leaders who are on personal visits.

Here are the developments so far:

  • Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala, several other MPs, and MLAs have been facing immense protests across the state since the protests began in September.
  • The leaders from the BJP-JJP coalition have been forced to cancel visits and reduce public appearances due to the protests.
  • On 1 June 2021, JJP’s MLA from Tohana, Devender Babli, was attacked in which his PA sustained severe head injuries and his vehicle’s windscreen had been allegedly smashed.
  • On 5 June, the FIRs registered against the farmers for the alleged attack were withdrawn and Babli apologised to the farmers for his comments. Two farmers who were arrested were also released after farmer unions called for a statewide gherao of police stations.
  • Last month, Jind MLA Krishan Midha had apologised to the farmers for his"objectionable remarks" during the protest held when Khattar visited the MLA's constituency to take stock of arrangements to fight COVID-19.
  • A few days later, protests were seen near OP Jindal School in Hisar where Khattar was scheduled to inaugurate a COVID-19 care facility. Several protestors were detained but soon released after the farmer leaders threatened to protest and block highways.
  • However, Haryana’s home minister Anil Vij said on Thursday, 10 June, that he suspected there was a “secret agenda” behind the farmers’ opposition to the three legislations.
  • On Wednesday, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the Centre was ready to resume talks with the protesting farmer unions and hear their grievances.
  • Meanwhile, in a bid to intensify their agitation, the farmers have announced a sit-in at Raj Bhavans across the country on 26 June.

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