NEW DELHI: Amid massive protests led by farmers on the new agricultural reforms, Haryana’s Senior Deputy Minister, Dushyant Chautala, on Thursday backed the Center’s guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP).
He said he will resign his position in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – state government led if unable to guarantee MSP for purchase of crops from farmers.
He also dismissed speculation of ‘fissures’ within the alliance partners, the BJP and the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), about demands by farmers protesting to repeal new farm laws and said the Center has accepted the demand to assure the MSP of crops.
“Our party’s national president has already made it clear that the MSP must be guaranteed to farmers. The written proposals delivered by the central government to protesting farmers include a provision for MSPs. I will work to secure the MSP for farmers while it is there. en I will resign from my position the day I cannot fulfill the promise, ”said deputy CM Chautala when addressing the media.
“The Center has accepted the demand of the farmers assuring the MSP in writing. Now it is up to the farmers’ unions to decide on the matter,” he added.
On the support of his party leaders for farmers, Chautala said: “I am saying that I am a farmer first. When did I deny that? But it is our responsibility to ensure an adequate price for his crops.”
Chautala also expressed hope that the stalemate between farmers and the central government will end soon. He said he is constantly in contact with the Union ministers on the matter.
“Chaudhary Devi Lal used to say that the government only listens to farmers until the time when farmers have an association in the government. Today, my party and I are constantly exposing farmers’ views to the Center. I am in contact with Union Minister by phone and presenting my views on possible solutions to the farmers’ problem, ”said the Chief Deputy Minister.
In addition, he said that the Haryana government has purchased a record amount of millet and other crops, except rice, this year from MSP and assured that in the coming years also the state government will acquire all MSP grains and seeds from farmers.
Chautala, whose party completed two years of training on Wednesday, hosted a luncheon for Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his cabinet colleagues at his residence in Chandigarh.
“The farmers ‘demand that the Union government must guarantee the MSP in writing was fulfilled yesterday. It is now up to the farmers’ unions to decide the next course of action on the government’s proposal,” he said.
The JJP has faced criticism from within the party for not abandoning the alliance on the farmers issue and “clinging to power.”
In an alliance, the JJP had extended its support to the BJP, which won 40 seats in the Assembly elections in 2019, six less than the majority mark.
The JJP, a defector from the state’s once prominent regional team, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), is primarily a rural Jat-centered party with farmers as its main vote bank. The Jats, a dominant farming community, comprise 28 percent of the state’s population.
The JJP has faced the wrath of people on Twitter with thousands of people trolling Dushyant Chautala using the hashtag ‘Dushyant_Kisan Ya_Kursi’ with more than two lakh of tweets as of Thursday night.
(With inputs from agencies)