Asking the government to accept farmers' demand to repeal the three recent central laws, the Indian National Lok Dal on Friday expressed its willingness to join any front floated by the Shiromani Akali Dal to further the tillers' and other causes. The party also said it has asked its district presidents and other office-bearers to take party's Kisan Cell members in tractor trollies to Delhi borders to join and lend support to the agitating farmers.
INLD senior leader Abhay Singh Chautala expressed his party's willingness to join any SAD-led front sans the BJP and Congress in response to a query on speculations over forging such a front while addressing a press conference. The SAD and INLD have already fought elections together (in Haryana). They are allies even today. If any such front comes up, the INLD will be part of it, said Abhay Chautala.
While asking the government to immediately accept farmers demand to repeal the three farm laws, Abhay Chautala, the younger son of INLD president and former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, also asserted that the party is "solidly behind farmers" fighting against the three laws. The government should not linger on the matter. They should immediately resolve it by agreeing to the farmers' demand to repeal the laws. The government must also give a written assurance on the MSP, he said.
Asserting that his party, founded by farmers' messiah and former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal is solidly behind the farmers", Abhay Chautala also took a veiled dig at the JJP, led by his elder brother Ajay Singh Chautala with the latter's son Dushyant Chautala being the deputy chief minister in the BJP-led Khattar government in Haryana. There are many who claim to follow the ideology of Chaudhary Devi Lal but they are clinging to power overlooking what farmers are going through, he said.
They (JJP) are demanding the withdrawal of cases against farmers who were booked by Haryana police during their 'Delhi Chalo' protest, but they hesitate to withdraw support from the BJP with whom they are sharing power, he said. They have sold their soul and are a blot on Chaudhary Devi Lal's name," he alleged.
In the news conference, he claimed his party had been opposing the farm laws right from the time they were promulgated as ordinances and later when they were passed by the Parliament. Talking about party's instruction to its Kisan Cell leaders and workers to join agitating farmers at Delhi borders, he said, We have asked them to take essentials like ration with them and ensure the farmers sitting on the protest do not face any difficulty.
Our party's Medical Cell will also send a team of doctors and medicines. We have also decided to send blankets, he added. Abhay Chautala also disclosed his decision to personally visit and meet farmers at sit-in sites at Delhi-Haryana borders.
In the next one or two days, I will also go and meet farmer leaders who are leading the stir. We have already extended our support to their protest. I will talk to them and ask them what more we can do to lend a helping hand in the present situation, he said. Our party is based on Chaudhary Devi Lal's ideology, who always fought and stood up for their rights. Whatever responsibility the farmers' leaders entrust us, we will discharge that willingly, he said.
Replying to a question, Chautala said he will not take another minute to resign as a legislative assembly member if farmers make such a demand when he meets them. To another query, he said he has strictly asked his party workers not to carry party flags or banners with them when they head to farmers' protest sites.
He also said it is the government's duty to help the protesting farmers with medical facilities, provide them with blankets, cooking gas and other essentials. But they are only making statements in the media and not doing anything on the ground, he claimed.
Replying to another question, he appealed to all political parties that they should rise above party politics and stand with farmers to lend strength to their agitation.