December 9, 2022

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“700 Lives”: BJP’s Varun Gandhi criticises the PM for delaying the rollback of farm laws

Image Courtesy: PTI

Varun Gandhi, a BJP MP who has been increasingly expressing views contrary to his party's, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.

Varun Gandhi, a BJP MP who has been increasingly expressing views contrary to his party’s, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, stating four major demands in response to the center’s surprising repeal of the unpopular farm regulations.

The MP reminded the Prime Minister that over 700 farmers would still be alive today if he had made the choice sooner, and sought a compensation of Rs 1 crore for those who perished during the year-long protest.

He also requested that any “politically motivated fake” police cases made against farmers be dismissed, and that their proposals for expanding the Minimum Support Price, or MSP, for farm produce be accepted, claiming that their protest would not end without it.

Mr Gandhi also brought up the killings of demonstrators in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, last month, where a BJP minister’s son and aides were accused of running over a group of farmers, sparking unrest and killing eight people.

“I thank you for your large-heartedness in announcing that these three laws will be repealed. More than 700 of our farmer brothers and sisters have been martyred in this movement, as they peacefully protested in extremely difficult and hostile conditions. I believe that if this decision had been taken earlier, all these innocent lives would not have been lost,” he wrote.

“During this struggle, all politically driven bogus FIRs that have been registered as weapons of harassment against our farmers must be invalidated immediately,” Mr Gandhi urged.

“This (farmers’) movement will not end until this demand is met, and there will be widespread anger among them, which will manifest itself in various forms. As a result, it is critical for farmers to obtain the mandatory MSP guarantee for their crops. The MSP should also be based on the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices’ C2+50% formula “He wrote, “Prices.”

He wrote about Lakhimpur Kheri, saying, “Many prominent politicians have made aggressive statements in response to our agitating farmers. On October 3, five of our farmer brothers were crushed to death by automobiles in Lakhimpur Kheri as a result of such words and the hostile attitude fostered around the movement. This tragic act is a stain on our democratic process. It is my request to you that you take necessary stern action against the Union Minister who is linked to this incidence, so that a fair investigation can be conducted.”

Varun Gandhi, who was dropped from his party’s National Executive after asking for justice for the families of farmers killed in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri and spoke out in favour of other farmers protesting the centre’s new laws, is the latest to criticise the BJP.

His rage peaked after he uploaded a video of the Lakhimpur tragedy at a time when the majority of his party was busy blaming farmers for the incident, stating it would “shock anyone’s spirit” and demanding swift arrests.

Varun Gandhi and his mother joined the BJP in 2004, just months before the party lost power, but are thought to have fallen out of favour with the leadership in recent years. Varun Gandhi is a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family, which dominates the opposition Congress.

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