Is AAP Government In Punjab Quelling Farmers' Protest By Force?
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, along with members of his Cabinet and party MLAs, has set camp in Gujarat for election campaigning.
He has been on a campaign trail for a month now.
However, in his own state of Punjab there is trouble brewing. Apart from deteriorating law and order situation, there is widespread discontentment among farmers, teachers and labourers in Punjab over an allegedly unresponsive government.
On Wednesday, thousands of farm labourers were lathi-charged by police outside Punjab CM's residence.
The labourers, under the banner of Sanjha Mazdoor Morcha, were protesting against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government. They were angry at the government for its 'failure to fulfil its promises'.
According to media reports, their demands included five marla plots for poor Dalits, representation of labourers in village cooperative societies and allotment of one-third of panchayat land to scheduled caste groups.
Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union president Zora Singh Nasrali said police lathi-charged protesters when they were trying to move towards Mann's residence in Dreamland Colony on Patiala road.
There was no word from the Punjab CM on the ill-treatment meted out to the poor labourers.
This is not the first time that the police resorted to lathi-charge to quell protest against the Mann government. In May this year, a protesting group of unemployed PTI teachers were beaten by Punjab police outside the residence of Education Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer.
In March 2022, seven farmers were severely injured during a lathi charge in Muktsar district of Punjab. The farmers were demanding compensation for their damaged crops, which the AAP had promised them during the campaigning for state polls.
In October 2022, farmers, under the banner of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) sat in protest for 18 days outside the CM's residence to have their voices heard. The Punjab CM dismissed their protest calling it politically motivated.
(with inputs from PTI)
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