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Is BJP Queering Its Pitch Over Farmers’ Stir?

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Kolkata: Complacency can mow you down if you take your position for granted. If this eternal truth still lacks the required punch to wake the union government up, then ominous signs are bound to grace the wall.

The entire pandemonium in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri has for sure, put the Narendra Modi-led regime in a spot of bother, yet obstinacy and arrogance prevail as evident from the deafening silence maintained by the BJP top brass to the alleged role of union minister of Home Ajay Mishra Teni and his son Ashish behind the killing of four farmers.

Apart from some unwarranted line of defence by a few small players, a reaction from any of the men who matter in the corridors of power still awaits us. Yes, of course, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath terms the chaos as unfortunate and grants Rs 45 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and even orders a judicial probe, but that is all too infirm a succour to the victims. Even booking the Mishra father-son duo wouldn’t suffice as of now.

And to exacerbate BJP’s woes, opposition parties including smaller regional parties are going all guns blazing to reap the benefits out of the mayhem all for political gains. From Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to Mamata Banerjee, the Lakhimpur ‘mishap’ gives them the arsenal to tear into BJP ahead of the Assembly elections due next year. And looking at the larger picture, a credible non-BJP front gets a shot in the arm too. Leave aside empathy for the farmers, political capital seems to be their prerogative. But why blame them?

The contentious farm laws have been the cynosure over the last one year with farmers vehemently airing their grievances against their implementation despite the Supreme Court’s stay order. Life in the northern belt has come to a standstill and the movement has given a platform to unknown entities like Rakesh Tikait and others to be household names. Though these farm leaders deny any political ambitions, the stalemate is only queering the pitch for the ruling dispensation with BJP’s rivals cashing in on it.

It is baffling that there has been no sincere effort on the part of the Prime Minister and his team to erase any doubts on its motive over the three laws but instead let saffron leaders display belligerence much to the enchantment of the Opposition. It is incredulous that breaking the impasse over the laws doesn’t make it to their priority list.

Honestly speaking, the worsening situation demands a solution at the earliest. The Lakhimpur commotion has been an impetus for all units inimical to BJP’s dreams which could have ramifications beyond control in the days to come. It’s high time that the likes of Mishras and Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khatter (hitting headlines over his irresponsible statement against farmers) are pulled up for precipitating a rot doing no good to the party’s cause.

Instead of standing its ground and rebuffing critics, adapting to the changing scenario is the need of the hour. Let obduracy make way for an objective thought process to holding talks with farmers for a solution to the mess the country is mired in. Protracted wait for the farmers to shun aggression would only lead to more Karnals and Lakhimpurs giving an opportunity to a dilapidated Opposition to galvanise.

With crucial state elections slated next year in several states including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, where farmers’ stir would be a major electoral plank, time is running out. The Nation demands action and not spiteful silence so as to mitigate this rabble rousing over farm laws.

It is too early to predict, if the farmers’ revolt would be lethal enough to make BJP eat a humble pie in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, but the ripples could be felt if pragmatism is overshadowed by unflinching optimism.

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