Farmers Protest: Chautala’s JJP to Take a Call After 3 Dec Meeting
JJP hopes that the Centre will give a written assurance on MSP to address part of the farmers’ concerns.
The Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana has come under strain with its ally, Dushyant Chautala's Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) toughening its stance on the farm laws that have sparked massive protests.
Under pressure due to the protests, the JJP has reportedly said that Dushyant Chautala would resign as Deputy Chief Minister if a written assurance on Minimum Support Prices is not provided by the Centre.
The party is likely to take a call on its course of action after the meeting between the Centre and farmers' representatives on 3 December.
There was a great deal of back and forth within the party through 2 December that eventually culminated in a toughening of stance.
The JJP had earlier adopted a cautious approach on the issue but has gradually escalated its position.
On Tuesday, JJP leader Ajay Chautala said that “When Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Agriculture Minister are repeatedly assuring that the MSP will continue, there is no harm in adding that line in the laws".
Why Did JJP Toughen Its Stance?
A number of factors have put pressure on JJP.
Sangwan's Withdrawal and Khap Pressure
Independent MLA from Dadri Sombir Sangwan withdrew support to the Khattar government and announced his support for the farmers' protests.
Sangwan is also an influential Khap leader and in fact announced his resignation from the Haryana Livestock Board at a meeting of the Sangwan Khap in Charkhi Dadri.
Several other Khaps have announced their support for the farmers' agitation and this stand has been communicated to the JJP.
Attacks on Farmers
What has also added to the pressure on the JJP are the cases filed against the protesting farmers in Haryana. The Khattar government is being accused of unnecessarily hounding farmers, despite the Centre allowing protests at a designated place in Delhi. Khattar also tried to delegitimise the protests by saying that Khalistani elements had infiltrated them. Even after the farmers began negotiations with the Centre, the Haryana BJP continued its attacks on the farmers, the latest being BJP leader JP Dalal calling the protests “China and Pakistan’s efforts to destabilise India”.
The JJP now stands isolated among parties that have support among Jats. The Congress, Indian National Lok Dal and Independent Jat MLAs like Sombir Sangwan from Dadri and Balraj Kundu from Meham, are all firmly with the protesters.
Kundu, who had also withdrawn support from the Khattar government earlier this year, is now actively backing the farmers' protest and giving them logistical support.
There's a regional aspect to it as well as well. The JJP and INLD's area of influence is in districts lies Jind, Hisar, Kaithal and Fatehabad, which is closer to Punjab and the farmers' outfits have close coordination with their counterparts from Punjab.
The INLD and Congress have already begun criticising JJP for not taking a stand on the farmers' demands.
What Happens Next?
The JJP is likely to wait for the outcome of the meeting between the Modi government and farmers' representatives on 3 December.
It is hoping that the Centre gives a written assurance on MSP and at least a section of farmers can be won over.
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