Punjab BJP leader quits over farm laws

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Neither State unit nor central leadership paying heed to farmers’ demands, Malvinder Kang says.

BJP general secretary and core committee member Malvinder Kang has resigned from the party over the Centre’s agriculture sector legislations, as he felt that neither party’s State nor the central leadership was paying heed to the demands to address the concerns of farmers’ surrounding the laws.

Peeved over the indifferent attitude of the party leadership towards farmers’ anxiety, Mr. Kang in his resignation letter to the State president wrote: “The farmers, ‘arhtiyas’ [commission agents], small traders and labour organisations have been democratically and rightly protesting the new Acts passed by the Central government. As a general secretary of the State BJP and being a member of the core group of the party, I raised my voice in support of the protesting farmers and others … I requested the party’s State and central leadership many times to address their grievances but no positive step was taken … therefore, supporting the farmers agitation, I resign from the party post, core group and primary membership.” 

Also read: Who gains and who loses from the farm Bills?

A day after Mr. Kang’s resignation, BJP state president Ashwani Sharma on Sunday told The Hindu that he had not received the resignation. “I have come to know about it through newspapers. Unless I receive the resignation, I can’t say anything on it,” he said.

Mr. Kang told reporters that he felt relieved after quitting. “I had been under pressure since the time farmers began protesting … I was not able to support the farmers in their fight for their right. I raised the concerns of farmers surrounding farm laws on party platforms, but no one paid heed. When I realised that no one is hearing me, I decided to quit,” he said.

Media adviser to Punjab Chief Minister Raveen Thukral, on Twitter, said “First its oldest ally quits, then Punjab farmers block the entry of its leaders in villages and now their own leaders are resigning, and still @BJP4India claims Farm laws are beneficial to the farmers. How long will those at the helm in Delhi continue to be in denial mode!”

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