Campaigning gathers pace in Punjab, so do protests against BJP’s nominees : The Tribune India

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Campaigning gathers pace in Punjab, so do protests against BJP’s nominees

Campaigning gathers pace in Punjab, so do protests against BJP’s nominees

Farmers have shown black flags to Preneet Kaur, Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Hans Raj Hans. File



Tribune News Service

Archit Watts

Muktsar, April 8

As the electioneering is gradually picking up pace, so do protests against BJP candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.

For instance, farmers in a number of villages have put up hoardings banning the entry of BJP leaders. Further, three of the saffron party candidates – former Union minister Preneet Kaur from Patiala, ex-diplomat Taranjit Singh Sandhu from Amritsar and renowned singer Hans Raj Hans from Faridkot — have faced the protests by farmers in their constituencies. Luckily, no untoward incident is reported anywhere yet.

The protesting farmers are demanding legal guarantee of the minimum support price (MSP) for 23 crops, Rs 10,000 per month pension for farmers aged above 60, scrapping of cases slapped against farmers during their Delhi stir, besides raising some other issues. They are upset because a young farmer Shubhkaran Singh died during a protest at the Khanauri border in February this year.

‘AAP, Congress behind protests’

AAP and the Congress are behind the protests against the BJP. A majority of farmers is supporting the party and happy with the policies of PM Modi. You will see us campaigning smoothly in all villages. —A BJP leader

The BJP has announced six candidates. Sources say the protests may escalate further once the poll canvassing is in full throttle and the BJP announces its remaining seven candidates.

Some farmers in Muktsar claimed that they had banned the entry of BJP leaders by putting up hoardings at Bharu, Daula and Kotbhai villages. Similarly, such hoardings were displayed at Bhucho Khurd and Mandi Kalan villages in Bathinda district and Namol village in Sangrur. Further, some farmers of Jangpura village in SAS Nagar have put up a hoarding banning the entry of leaders of all political parties.

Further, the farmers had raised protests near the “Booth Mahotsav” venues of the BJP at Lambi village and Bathinda town recently.

Some farmers said they had not been allowed to go to Delhi and now the BJP leaders would not be allowed to enter their villages. Jagjit Singh Dallewal, president, Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Sidhupur), during his recent visit to Muktsar district, said, “In the coming days, the farmer leaders will participate in the election debates.”

A senior BJP leader said, “AAP and the Congress are behind the protests. A majority of farmers is supporting the BJP and happy with the policies of PM Narendra Modi. You will see us campaigning smoothly in all villages.”

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