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How protesting farmers were targeted by Govt, BJP

From calling it a protect for “andolanjeevis” to linking it to “Khalistani agenda” and Maoists, the BJP and its leaders, together with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, focused the farmers’ motion over the previous one 12 months, earlier than the announcement on repeal of the three farm legal guidelines lastly got here on Friday.

The Prime Minister coined the time period andolanjeevi (one who makes a dwelling out of protests) to say that the farmers’ protests had been getting used as a instrument by individuals who thrived on protests.

“Andolanjeevis have maligned the farmers’ protests. The nation wants to tell apart between protesters and andolanjeevis,” Modi informed Lok Sabha on February 10 in his reply to the Movement of Because of the President’s deal with within the Price range Session.

“I contemplate the farmers’ protests sacred. However when andolanjeevis got down to destroy a sacred protest for their very own profit, what is going to occur?” he stated. He stated “terrorists, Naxals and communal parts” had been concerned within the motion.

“…within the matter of three farm legal guidelines… to brandish images of terrorists, Naxals and communal parts who’re in jail, and to demand their launch… it maligns the sacredness of the farmers protest,” he stated.

Citing incidents in Punjab final 12 months, he stated: “To disrupt and take over the toll plazas are an try and malign the sacred protests. When telecom towers are damaged in Punjab, is that aligned with the calls for of the farmers?”

At a operate in Gujarat on December 15 final 12 months, the Prime Minister stated that farmers had been being misled as a part of a conspiracy. “Farmers gathered close to Delhi are being misled as a part of a conspiracy,” he stated.

“Farmers are informed that their land will likely be grabbed by others if new farm reforms get applied. I wish to ask you, did the dairy proprietor take your cattle since you are promoting milk to him?”

Key BJP leaders, usually seemingly in a coordinated trend, chipped in once in a while to focus on the protests.

On November 27 final 12 months, BJP’s IT Cell chief Amit Malviya tweeted a video titled “Khalistani agenda behind farmers protest in Punjab”. “What sort of farmer agitation is that this? Is Capt Amarinder Singh taking part in with hearth? When will Congress realise that politics of aligning with radical parts has reached its promote date?” he tweeted.

On December 13, 2020, former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad stated that “tukde tukde log” who wish to break India had been utilizing the farmers’ motion. “Narendra Modi ji respects the farmers loads and the farmers of the nation additionally respect Narendra Modi ji loads – we’re profitable all over the place. But when the individuals who wish to break India below the guise of the farmers’ motion – tukde-tukde folks – attempt to shoot from the shoulder of farmers, very strict motion will likely be taken towards them,” the then legislation minister stated in an deal with in Bihar’s Bakhtiarpur.

Because the protests drew worldwide consideration, the ruling institution hit out on social media.

As singer Rihanna and local weather activist Greta Thunberg tweeted, drawing consideration to the protesting farmers, Dwelling Minister Amit Shah on February 3 tweeted: “No propaganda can deter India’s unity! No propaganda can cease India to realize new heights! Propaganda can’t resolve India’s destiny solely ‘Progress’ can. India stands united and collectively to realize progress.”

Months earlier than that, Shah stated he wouldn’t time period the farmers’ protest “political”. “Whoever needs to oppose it [the farm laws] politically allow them to do it. I’ve by no means stated the farmers protest is political and would by no means say (that it’s political),” he informed reporters in Hyderabad.

On March 3 this 12 months, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath stated individuals who have “flopped” in all areas are utilizing the farmers’ protests. “There is no such thing as a doubt that some individuals who have failed and flopped in different areas, who don’t have anything to do with agriculture, are coaching their weapons from the shoulders of gullible farmers,” he stated in an interview to TV channel CNN News 18. Months earlier than Modi spoke in Parliament, his Cupboard ministers Piyush Goyal and Narendra Singh Tomar linked the motion with “Maoists” and “anti-national parts”.

“We now realise that the so-called farmer agitation hardly stays a farmer agitation. It’s nearly infiltrated by Leftists and Maoist parts, a flavour of which we noticed over the past two days, when there have been extraneous calls for to launch individuals who have been put behind bars for anti-national actions,” Goyal, the then railways and commerce minister, stated on December 12 throughout a digital deal with on the 93rd annual conference of FICCI. He was a part of the federal government’s parlays with protesting farmers from Punjab final 12 months together with Tomar.

A day earlier than that, Tomar tweeted: “Within the guise of farmers, anti-social parts are conspiring to spoil the farmers’ motion. I enchantment to the farmers to be vigilant and never present their platform to such anti-social parts.”

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