The Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP), a crucial National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ally, on Saturday made an official announcement to break its ties with the NDA as its demand to withdraw the contentious farm laws remained unfulfilled.

RLP convenor and MP from Nagaur in Rajasthan Hanuman Beniwal announced the decision to sever ties with the NDA at the Shahjahanpur-Kheda border in Alwar district in the presence of thousands of farmers.

Addressing the farmers, Hanuman Beniwal said that the RLP’s alliance with the BJP has ended on Saturday. Earlier on December 19, Beniwal had resigned from three Parliamentary committees in support of the farmers’ movement.

“I am not stuck to the NDA with Fevicol. Today, I separate myself from the NDA. I have left the alliance in protest against the three farm laws which are anti-farmer. Although I have left the NDA, I will not forge an alliance with the Congress,” Beniwal said, adding that he will resign from the Lok Sabha as well if the Centre does not roll back the farm laws.

On Saturday morning, minutes before starting a march with thousands of farmers towards Delhi, Beniwal had made it clear that this was the moment of clarity and the BJP will have to decide fast now that the farmers’ crisis has stretched beyond a month.

Thousands of farmers had gathered at Kotputli near Jaipur on Saturday morning ready for the “Delhi Chalo” march.

“Around 2 lakh farmers are marching with me to Delhi and we shall take on the spot decision on our alliance with the NDA. If the farm laws are not withdrawn, we will announce severing of our ties with the NDA,” Beniwal had told IANS in the morning.

Beniwal had earlier written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, threatening that he would reconsider his alliance with the BJP if the farm laws were not withdrawn.

The RLP’s decision to pull out of the NDA came as a second jolt to the NDA in three months. On September 26, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), one of the oldest allies of the BJP, had quit the NDA after differences over the three farm laws.

(With IANS inputs)