Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Dushyant Chautala breaks silence, backs Centre's assurance on MSP

PUNJAB NEWSLINE | December 10, 2020 09:48 PM

CHANDIGARH: Ending speculation of 'cracks' within the alliance partners -- the BJP and the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) -- over the demands of the protesting farmers to revoke the new farm laws, JJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala on Thursday said the Centre has accepted the demand of assuring minimum support price (MSP) of crops.

"The Centre has accepted the demand of the farmers by assuring the MSP in writing. It is now up to the farmers' unions to decide on it," he told the media here.

Chautala, whose party completed two years of formation on Wednesday, hosted a lunch for Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his cabinet colleagues at his residence here.

"The demand of the farmers that the Union government must ensure MSP in writing has been fulfilled yesterday. It is now up to the farmers' unions to decide the next course of action on the government proposal," he said.

On his party leaders lending support to the farmers, Chautala said: "I am saying that I am a farmer first. When did I ever deny that? But it is our responsibility to ensure an adequate price for their crops."

Chautala's assertion assumes significance days after many legislators of the JJP, the crucial post-electoral coalition partner in the BJP-led government, extended their open support to the farmers against the new farm laws brought by the Centre.

Earlier, his younger brother Digvijay Chautala had said that Dushyant Chautala had been in constant talks with the Central leadership over the protest by the farmers, saying "the party is of the farmers and for the farmers".

"Dushyant Chautala is constantly holding talks with the Union ministers and he's advocating the cause of the farmers so that they do not face problems," he had said.

"The 10 legislators of our party were born in a farmer's house. How this is possible that we are not concerned about the issues of the farmers? The farmers should be listened to, the government should make whatever changes needed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is a farmer's government," he had said.

The JJP has been facing criticism within the party for not walking out of the alliance on the issue of the farmers and 'clinging to power'.

In an alliance, the JJP had extended support to the BJP, which won 40 seatsin the Assembly polls in 2019, six short of the majority mark.

The JJP -- a defector of the state's once prominent regional outfit Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), is primarily a rural Jat-centric party with farmers as its core vote bank. The Jats, a dominant farming community, comprise 28 per cent of the state's population.

The JJP has been facing the ire of the people on Twitter with thousands trolling Dushyant Chautala by using the hashtag 'Dushyant_Kisan Ya_Kursi' with more than two lakh tweets till Thursday evening.

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