BJP leader Balwan Singh Daulatpuria quits party over farm laws

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Fatehabad, Jan 31 (PTI) Haryana BJP leader and former MLA Balwan Singh Daulatpuria on Sunday quit the ruling party in solidarity with the farmers who are protesting against the Centre's new agriculture laws.

Daulatpuria, who had joined the party ahead of 2019 assembly polls after switching over from INLD, announced his decision at a Panchayat held at his village Daulatpur here.

Talking to reporters later, he said the three agriculture laws 'are anti-farmer which should be repealed immediately'.

'A Panchayat was held in my village. They directed that I should come out fully in support of the farmers who are protesting against these laws, after which I announced my decision to quit the party... I will fight shoulder-to-shoulder with farmers and also visit the Tikri border protest site,' Daulatpuria, a former MLA from Fatehabad, said.

Meanwhile, some villagers in Sonipat's Rai block took out a 'tractor march' in support of the farmers protesting against the farm laws.

A 'Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat' was organised by 'Arhitiyas Association' in Palwal on the farm laws issue.

A Mahapanchayat will be held in Jind early next month to mobilise support for the farmers agitating against the three farm laws, a farmer leader said.

Earlier on Thursday, Haryana BJP leader and former chief parliamentary secretary Rampal Majra had quit the party over the farm laws issue.

Majra, a three-time former MLA, had switched over to the BJP from the INLD just before the 2019 assembly elections. He had in September last year dubbed then Centre's farm bills as 'anti-farmer', claiming that the apprehensions about the minimum support price (MSP) were not unfounded.

In September last year, Haryana BJP leader Shyam Singh Rana had also quit the party over the agriculture laws.

Rana, who was chief parliamentary secretary in the first term of the M L Khattar-led BJP government, had then said he was quitting the party keeping the farmers' issue in mind.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting since late November at Delhi's borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, demanding a rollback of the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the 'mercy' of big corporations.

However, the government has maintained that the new laws will bring better opportunities to farmers and introduce new technologies in agriculture. PTI SUN VSD AAR AAR