Farmers hold protest in Haryana's Kurukshetra during function organised by JJP

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Kurukshetra (Har), Mar 13 (PTI) A group of farmers under the banner of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) tried to force its way into the Circuit House here on Saturday, where workers of the ruling JJP had organised a function to honour a few 'safai karamcharis' to mark the birthday of party chief Ajay Singh Chautala.

A large police contingent was deployed in the area as a precautionary measure. The doors of the Circuit House, a state government building, were locked to prevent the farmers from entering its premises, officials said.

Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) MLA Ram Karan Kala was to preside over the function. However, he skipped the event.

The farmers raised slogans against the JJP MLAs and said they had not backed the opposition's no-confidence motion against the Haryana government, which was brought on farmers' issues.

A leader of the farmers said they wanted to meet the MLA who had assured them sometime ago that he would support the farmers' agitation against the Centre's new farm laws but failed to support the no-confidence motion moved by the Congress against the BJP-JJP government in the state Assembly.

With the intervention of the police, the farmers agreed to disperse after the organisers decided to cancel the function.

Kurukshetra Station House Officer (SHO) Devinder Walia said the police kept the doors of the Circuit House locked for about an hour-and-a-half because the agitating farmers were adamant on entering the building.

The protesters said they wanted to 'blacken the faces of those holding the function', he said.

Meanwhile, another group of farmers staged a protest and raised slogans against Independent MLA Dharam Pal Gonder, who was to attend an event in neighbouring Karnal district, alleging that the legislator had not stood with the peasants as he had voted against the opposition's no-confidence motion against the state government.

The farmers reached near the spot in Karnal's Nissing, where the MLA from the Nilokheri Assembly segment was to attend an event in a 'gaushala' (cow shelter).

The protesters, who were carrying black flags, claimed that Gonder skipped the event in view of their protest.

'We had gone to Gonder's residence on March 9, where his wife was present, and we requested the family that the legislator should stand with the farmers and support the no-confidence motion. However, he chose not to support the farmers and voted against the motion,' one of the protesters said.

Another protester said they will not allow those MLAs, who chose not to stand with the farmers, to hold public meetings in villages.

'We will not allow them to hold meetings in villages till the farm laws are repealed,' he said.

Farmers from the state had blocked traffic in Jind and Hisar on Thursday while another group protested outside BJP MLA Asseem Goel's residence in Ambala, a day after the no-confidence motion against the Haryana government was defeated in the Assembly.

The BJP-JJP government in Haryana survived the floor test on Wednesday, comfortably defeating the no-confidence motion moved against it by the main opposition Congress.

The motion was defeated following a division of votes. Fifty-five members voted against the motion while 32 backed it.

All the 10 MLAs of the JJP and five of the seven independent lawmakers voted against the no-confidence motion. PTI CORR SUN VSD RC