BJP MP from Pilibhit, Varun Gandhi, became one of the few leaders in the party to come out in support of farmers protesting against the NDA government's farm laws.
He tweeted that the protesting farmers are "our own flesh and blood" and emphasised on the need to start "re-engaging with them in a respectful manner".
His tweet came on a day when farmers from Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and other states gathered in large numbers for a Mahapanchayat at Muzaffarnagar in West UP.
Gandhi's tweet is also important in the context of the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh. It does indicate that at least some elements within the BJP are sensing the need to re-start a dialogue with the protesting farmers.
Also crucial here is the fact that Gandhi represents Pilibhit in the Lok Sabha. Pilibhit lies in Uttar Pradesh's Terai region and is home to a large number of Punjabi origin farmers. Gandhi's own maternal family hails from the region.
Punjabi origin farmers of the Terai regions of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have been at the forefront of the protests.
Navneet Singh, the protester who died after being injured in Delhi's ITO, was also from the Terai region in Uttarakhand.
It is clear that Gandhi is articulating the concerns of his constituents, something that BJP MPs in West UP and Haryana haven't done so far.
IS GANDHI AN EXCEPTION?
Yes, it does seem that Gandhi is a lone voice within the BJP and there doesn't seem to be any change of heart in the party.
Soon after his tweet, BJP MLA from Khurja, Vijendra Singh tweeted that Gandhi should differentiate between farmers and "anti-national elements", a slur that many in the right wing have been using against farmers.
Responding to the tweets of both BJP leaders, Rashtriya Lok Dal president Jayant Chaudhary welcomed what Gandhi was saying and also told Vijendra Singh to "get his eyes tested" or visit farmers in his constituency.