Farmers under the banner of BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) today broke through the barricades put up by the police near a venue where former minister and BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia was holding a meeting with party leaders.
Upon reaching the hotel where the meeting was underway, protesters, including a large number of women, raised slogans against Kalia and demanded the repeal of the farm laws.
BKU leader Mothu Singh Kotra said: “We have already announced that BJP leaders would face protests across the state until the farm laws are repealed. Today morning, we got the information that BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia was holding a meeting with party workers at a hotel in the city, so we came here to protest.”
Lashing out at the central government, Kotra said: “The Centre has brought these farm laws for the big corporate houses in the garb of agriculture reforms. These laws will hit the agriculture sector and farmers hard, that’s why these laws should be repealed.”
The Bathinda police had made elaborate security arrangements for the BJP meeting at a private hotel in the city. All roads leading to the hotel were cordoned off to keep the protesters at bay.
Even SP (City) Jaspal Singh, DSP (City) Aswant Singh and Tehsildar Sukhbir Singh Brar along with a huge police force were present at the spot. BJP state media co-in charge Sunil Singla said: “Manoranjan Kalia, who has been appointed party in charge for the Bathinda MC elections, today held a meeting with the party district core committee. In the meeting, he held discussion on the prospective candidates for all 50 wards in the city.”
He added that Kalia also held meetings with mandal presidents and BJP district mahila morcha at different venues. On December 26, when state BJP president Ashwani Sharma visited the city and held a meeting with the party workers, at that time also farmers staged a protest.