This Article is From Dec 25, 2020

Protesting Farmers Picket Punjab Hotel, BJP Leaders Escape Via Backdoor

Demonstrators from the Bharti Kisan Union (Doaba) protested at the hotel where the BJP leaders were observing the birth anniversary of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Protesting Farmers Picket Punjab Hotel, BJP Leaders Escape Via Backdoor

Farmers have been protesting the centre's three farm laws for months (Representational)

Phagwara, Punjab:

A group of BJP leaders in Punjab's Phagwara had to slip out from the backdoor under police protection on Friday after farmers protesting the central government's new agricultural laws picketed a hotel that they were holding an event in.

Demonstrators from the Bharti Kisan Union (Doaba) protested at the hotel where the BJP leaders were observing the birth anniversary of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The protesters claimed that the hotel was owned by a BJP activist who also ran a company that supplied cattle and chicken feed. They said they will boycott the company's products.

Led by the union's vice president Kirpal Singh Mussapur, several demonstrators held a protest outside the hotel and surrounded the BJP leaders and workers who had managed to get inside before the farmers began their agitation.

The protesters also did not allow several BJP activists, including Bharati Sharma, district president of BJP's Mahila Wing, to go inside the hotel, the police said.

Those who had gone inside had to slip out one by one from the hotel's backdoor under police protection to save themselves from the protesters, the police said.

They included BJP district and block presidents Rakesh Duggal and Paramjit Singh Pamma Chachoki and former mayor Arun Khosla.

Mr Mussapur alleged that the BJP leaders were conspiring against the farmers and working on propaganda.

The protesters also raised slogans against the Narendra Modi government and union minister Som Parkash who belongs to Phagwara.

Protesters raised the BKU flag on a pole outside the hotel, warning the owner that if it was removed or any BJP function was allowed at the hotel in future, farmers will return to hold protests against the hotel and his company, news agency PTI reported.

Farmers in several parts of the country have been protesting since last month against the three new central laws they say will lead to the dismantling of regulated markets.

They also fear the government would stop buying wheat and rice at guaranteed prices, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

Farmer unions who have led tens of thousands of farmers in a massive protest on the outskirts of Delhi, have demanded a total repeal of the laws and warned of a bigger agitation if their demands are not met.

Several rounds of talks between ministers and farmer leaders have failed to produce a breakthrough so far.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday offered to hold fresh talks to end the stalemate.

(With inputs from agencies)