A tweet of Varun Gandhi has been trending since Sunday. It said, “Lakhs of farmers have gathered in protest today, in Muzaffarnagar. They are our own flesh and blood. We need to start reengaging with them in a respectful manner. We need to understand their pain, their point of view, and work with them in reaching common ground.” Along with it was a video of the crowds at Muzaffarnagar. Gandhi represents Pilibhit in the LS. He has been donating his salary as a Member of Parliament to the families of those farmers who killed themselves. It was on August 31st that he met the farmers in his constituency to discuss their problems.
Last week, he heard the Karnal SDM Ayush Sinha saying to the cops to break the heads of the protesting farmers. Just after that, he tweeted that it was unacceptable in democratic India to do this to their own citizens. Gandhi had also written a book on rural India in which he mentioned the struggles of marginal farmers. For this very episode, he received appreciation from the social reformer and Noble prize winner Kailash Satyarthi. When the Times of India contacted Gandhi, he said, “I have always felt pain for the farmers. This is the reason why I donated all my salaries earned as MP since 2009 to the families of the farmers who committed suicide. I had also shared my reaction to the Karnal video as it was unacceptable under any circumstances. I have recently conducted meetings with the farmer leaders in my constituency to address their issues.”
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) had called for a Kisan Mahapanchayat in Muzaffarnagar on Sunday. It was done to protest against the three controversial farm laws. Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait declared at the Mahapanchayat that the agitations will keep continuing. It will be done till the demands are met. Varun Gandhi did not directly mention the NDA government in his tweets. But he was the first leader to raise his voice and support the ongoing farmers’ agitation. Gandhi’s stand seems to be a breaking of ranks indicating a growing unease in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the continued farmer’s agitation ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
There are a number of BJP leaders who condemned the agitation calling it either anti-national or being hijacked by the opposition. But most of them have chosen to remain quiet on the issue. However, they were advocating dialogues. A BJP MLA from Khurja namely Vijendra Singh tweeted, “Sorry Varun Ji but still, you need to make a difference between farmers and anti-national elements.” It was later that Singh deleted his tweet. Meanwhile, Gandhi’s comment was appreciated by the leaders of the opposition such as RLD leader Jayan Chaudhury.