Uttar Pradesh Minister Dharam Singh Saini created a flutter in political circles on Wednesday when he said that the Government would find a solution to the ongoing farmers’ agitation against the three contentious farm laws and guaranteed MSP before the Assembly election.
Dr. Saini who is an MLA from Nakur seat in Saharanpur and Minister of State in the Yogi Adityanath Government described farmer leader Rakesh Tikait as ‘dukh sukh ke saathi’ (a companion in joy and sorrow).
He said the demands of farmers were “genuine” and their issues should be resolved before election. “It will be in the interest of the party and the Government,” he said.
The Minister said he was in touch with the farmers’ leadership, and the Government would soon respond to the demands. “Every sitting Government tries to resolve all contentious issues before elections. ‘Mamla jald sulajh jayega’ [the issue will soon be resolved],” said Dr. Saini, who was a two-time MLA from the Bahujan Samaj Party before moving to the BJP in 2016.
Responding to the Dr. Saini’s statement, Mr. Tikait welcomed the initiative but said he was not in touch with any Minister. “We have always maintained that we are not against mediation but it should be through a leader whose voice is listened to by the top leadership in the BJP,” he said, adding only Samyukta Kisan Morch would respond to any proposal from the Government.
Dharmendra Malik, BKU media in-charge, said it was the first time that a Minister had spoken in favour of the demands. “It shows BJP MLAs are feeling the heat on the ground, but we would like to hear from the Chief Minister or the Central leadership. It seems there is something cooking between the Centre and the State leadership of the BJP,” he said. “As far as farm laws are concerned, the ball is in the Centre’s court, but it is Yogiji who has to face the election,” he added.
Mr. Malik said farmers would hold a ‘mahapanchayat’ in Lucknow on November 22 to intensify the stir in the Purvanchal area of the State. “The focus will be on the arrest of Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni. He could at least be called by the U.P. police for questioning in the Lakhimpur case. We will also raise other farmer issues such as shortage of DAP, payment of sugarcane and rising electricity charges,” he said.