With the farmers' agitation continuing for over six weeks, senior BJP leader and former Union minister Birender Singh on Tuesday said the party's government in Haryana and its leadership in Punjab didn't handle the issue properly and let the central brass down. However, Singh, who was Union Minister in the NDA government from 2014-19, said the intent of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the central government behind these farm bills was overall welfare of farmers.
"The intent of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the central government behind these three farm laws was to improve the quality of life of farmers and their overall welfare," Singh told PTI. Sounding critical of his party's own government in Haryana and its leadership in Punjab, Singh said the issue would have been resolved much earlier had the they addressed the farmers' apprehensions effectively in initial days of the protest.
"The BJP's government in Haryana and its leadership in Punjab let the party down by not addressing the farmers' apprehensions effectively against the three farm bills, when they were yet to be passed by Parliament and the protest was just beginning," he said. Hoping for an early resolution of the issue, the veteran leader from Haryana said, "If this issue is not resolved early, then it could have serious repercussions for the BJP-JJP government in Haryana in the long run." Singh said he may have opted out of electoral politics but will continue to remain active in politics and will now focus only on farmer issues.
He said a think-tank in the name of his maternal grandfather and great farmer leader Sir Chhotu Ram has already been working in this direction. A Kisan Chamber of Commerce has also been formed under that think-tank, he said.
Singh, who was a Rajya Sabha member from Haryana, had resigned from the upper house after his son Brijendra Singh got a BJP ticket from Hisar in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Brijender Singh, had defeated JJP leader Dushyant Chautala, in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, who later defeated Brijendra's mother Premlata in assembly polls in the same year and became deputy chief minister of Haryana in the BJP-JJP alliance government.