Facing heat from protesting farmers in Haryana and Punjab, the Centre has received a warning from INLD supremo Om Prakash Chautala — grandfather of Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala — that mid-term general elections could be held in India “anytime soon”.
Om Prakash Chautala, who was in jail since 2013 over the illegal recruitment of junior basic teachers, was released two weeks ago. The four-time chief minister was on emergency parole since March 26, 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking to the media on Saturday, Senior Chautala said his prediction of early polls was based on the premise that every citizen is aggrieved due to BJP’s “wrong policies". In January 2021, the ex-Haryana CM’s other son — Abhay Singh Chautala — resigned as an MLA in protest against the farm laws. At present, the INLD has no seat in either Parliament or the Haryana Assembly.
भाजपा की ग़लत नीतियों की वजह से देश का हर नागरिक दुखी है। मुझे ऐसा दिखाई दे रहा है कि लोगों को 2024 का इंतज़ार नहीं करना पड़ेगा। किसी भी समय देश में मध्यावधि चुनाव हो सकते हैं: हरियाणा के पूर्व मुख्यमंत्री ओम प्रकाश चौटाला pic.twitter.com/icnNX0tJFj— ANI_HindiNews (@AHindinews) July 17, 2021
This is not the first time Om Prakash Chautala has called out the Centre’s policies. On December 28, 2020, the INLD supremo wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi opposing the implementation of The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
This came even as his grandson’s party JJP backed the legislation with some amendments. Chautala then claimed that the farmers’ stir was going on for a long time owing to the Centre’s stubbornness.
Pointing out that many farmers had lost their lives during the agitation, the ex-Haryana CM called upon the Centre to either repeal the agrarian laws or keep them in abeyance until all unions and experts consent to them.
At present, talks between the Union government and the farmers’ unions have reached a stalemate. The divide between the two sides further exacerbated on January 26 after the farmers’ tractor rally turned violent, resulting in several Delhi Police personnel getting injured and extensive damage to public property.
While the Supreme Court has stayed the implementation of the farm laws, a committee appointed by the apex court submitted its report pertaining to the legislation in a sealed cover on March 19.
Officials of the Delhi Police will meet a delegation of farmers on Sunday ahead of their planned protest in front of parliament during its monsoon session to demand scrapping of the contentious farm laws and a legal guarantee on MSP. The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of over 40 farmer unions, has planned that around 200 farmers will hold protests outside parliament every day during the monsoon session.
Thousands of farmers from across the country have been agitating at the Delhi borders against the three farm laws that they claim will do away with the Minimum Support Price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations. Over 10 rounds of talks with the government, which has been projecting the laws at major agricultural reforms, have failed to break the deadlock between the two parties.