Hanuman Beniwal’s Rashtriya Loktantrik Party, which partnered with the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2019, told Interior Minister Amit Shah that his party would reconsider its partnership with the BJP if the Center did not repeal the three agricultural laws. Beniwal also demanded that the Center implement the recommendations of the Swaminath Commission and engage in dialogue with farmers in Delhi in the right spirit.
Hanuman Beniwal, who was once a member of the Bharatiya Janata party, drove his party out of the 2018 state elections and became part of the National Democratic Alliance just before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Beniwal won the Lok Sabha election from Nagaur in 2019. His party had won 3 seats in the state elections the previous year and had fought quite a few others.
The threat from the Jat leader to consider leaving the NDA is seen as an indication of the discomfort within the regional party over the protests that broke out against the three agricultural laws enacted by the BJP-led coalition at the Center and changing the way Indian farmers do business through free markets, as opposed to a network of decades-old government-controlled agricultural markets.
The laws allow companies to freely trade agricultural products outside the so-called government-controlled “mandi system”, allow private traders to stock large quantities of essential goods for future sale, and establish new rules for contract farming .
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior ministers have tried to allay concerns about the three laws, saying they opened new opportunities for growers.
But farmers’ leaders who marched against the law into the capital, Delhi, are unconvinced and have insisted their agitation will continue. Thousands of farmers have been camping at Delhi’s borders and in the city’s Burari grounds since November 27, a day after their Delhi Chalo agitation launched from Punjab. The protests have since spread to pockets in other states as well.
In a series of tweets he followed up with a letter to Amit Shah, Hanuman Beniwal said his party would be forced to reconsider the alliance if action is not taken quickly, as farmers and youth were at the heart of his party.
In an earlier video message, Beniwal said the RLP had protested the three agricultural laws through social media and on the streets. “Today I wrote to Shah that if the laws are not repealed, we will reconsider our alliance with NDA,” he said.
“We are with the farmers and go to Delhi if necessary. The prime minister and shah must have a dialogue with farmers and provide space to keep dharna in the capital. If any kind of mistreatment is done to the farmers, farmers from all over the country will be on the streets to Delhi, ”he said.
Beniwal’s tweets came a day after Prime Minister Ashok Gehlot wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that the agricultural laws be repealed.