A day after the ruling BJP and Jannayak Janata party (JJP) combine lost elections to three out of five municipal corporations in Haryana amid the protest by farmers against farm laws, the chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday vowed to quit politics if the minimum support price (MSP) is abolished in the state.”We are committed to the continuation of the MSP in Haryana. Manohar Lal will quit politics if anyone tries to end the MSP regime,” the CM said while addressing a Press conference.
Khattar said his government had taken a lot of initiatives for farmers in the last six years including massive procurement of produce. He alleged that the farmers’ stir commenced as they were instigated by Opposition parties. Appreciating the series of talks held between the Centre and the farmer leaders, Khattar expressed hope that the standoff over the laws will be resolved soon.
While the BJP lost mayoral races in Sonipat and Ambala on Wednesday, its ally JJP also suffered defeats in Hisar’s Ukalana and Rewari’s Dharuhera – both of which are seen as strongholds of deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala’s JJP.Meanwhile, Haryana BJP spokesperson Sanjay Sharma blamed public holidays for the party’s defeat.
“December 25, 26, 27 were holidays. And you know in December when the year is ending and when there’s a bunch of holidays, people tend to go out on long trips. Unfortunately, most of those who went on holiday were people who made the BJP’s vote bank,” he said.
Farmers in Ambala, from which district home minister Anil Vij is an MLA and a BJP leader is the MP, celebrated the ruling party’s defeat with gusto, sharing sweets, and breaking into song and dance.
The voting percentage in the Ambala City Municipal Corporation election this year was 56.3 per cent, compared to 67 per cent in 2013.
BJP MLA from Ambala Aseem Goel said the civic elections were “BJP against everyone else”. “When the government does good work, everyone joins hands from accomplishing goals. This is what’s happening in Haryana. Their agenda is meaningless. All they want is to stop the BJP. They will work out their differences later, but first let’s tackle the BJP, this is what they think,” Goel said. However, the MLA said the protests against the farm laws appear to have hurt the party in the civic elections.