Farmers protest outside Union minister’s virtual event venue

Say won’t let BJP leaders, functionaries attend any function in state

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, January 2

A large number of farmers protested outside a hotel on the Goniana road, where BJP leader and Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar addressed a gathering through video-conferencing.

An event for the distribution of physical aids and assistive devices to differently abled and senior citizens under ADIP and Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana, respectively, were organised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment along with the district administration at Bathinda.

The farmers gathered outside the hotel and started raising slogans against the Narendra Modi government. Protesters said they had already announced they would boycott events of the BJP leaders in the state until the farm laws were taken back.

Former Union Minister and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal did not attend the event. She said: “I boycotted the event today in which BJP leader and Union Minister of State Krishan Pal Gurjar was the chief guest virtually. I have always stood for the farmers. I will continue to boycott events where BJP leaders are the guests until the farmers’ demands are met and farm laws are repealed.”

However, BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) district senior vice-president Mothu Singh Kotra said: “Harsimrat Badal was also scheduled to reach here. This shows Akalis are not concerned. On the one hand, the SAD says it has broken the alliance with the BJP, on the other Akalis are still attending functions together.”

Meanwhile, SDM Talwandi Sabo Varinder Kumar said the main objective of this virtual programme was to provide free assistive devices to the divyang persons. He said in 2018-19, free prostheses were provided to 361 senior citizens and 44 divyang persons from Bathinda.

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