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PM Modi to hold Jalandhar rally amid farm protests

2024 5largeimg 1988017045Jalandhar: Five days ahead of the rally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jalandhar on May 24, Doaba has witnessed three protests by farmers against the BJP in the past two days, two at Hoshiarpur and one at Jalandhar. While PM Modi’s security related jibe at the then Congress government of Punjab, during his campaign rally in Jalandhar ahead of the 2022 state Assembly elections is still fresh in the memories of people, the PM’s May 24 rally comes amidst continuing farmers’ protests. Farmers have said a decision regarding this will be announced after the SKM’s Jagraon meet on May 21.

While the PMs’ rally will be held on May 24 in the high security Punjab Armed Police grounds in Jalandhar, the police said all arrangements were in place and amidst heavy deputations of personnel, the police will not allow any kind of untoward activity.

Notably, as per a call by the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha, various farmers groups have been holding stirs against BJP candidates. So far, Jalandhar BJP candidate Sushil Rinku has faced protests from farmers at Nurmahal, Kartarpur, Shahkot, Lohian, Mehatpur and Phillaur. BJP leaders have also repeatedly raised questions regarding the same, with the party also lodging a formal complaint with the ECI on May 6. However, despite ECI directions to farmers not to disrupt candidates’ campaigns, the protests have continued.

Santokh Singh Sandhu, district president of the Kirti Kisan Union (one of the farmers protesting at Phillaur against BJP Jalandhar candidate Sushil Rinku today), said, “We have been opposing candidates of BP and will continue to so. The plans of protest with regard to the PM’s address in Jalandhar on May 24 will be announced after the Kisan Mahapanchayat of the SKM at Jagraon on May 21.”

Jalandhar Commissioner of Police Swapan Sharma said, “Since the rally is being held at the PAP Grounds in Jalandhar, it is already a high security zone of the district. Generous deployments of personnel as per protocol will be held in Jalandhar. Security checks have also been intensified in the city and nakas have been set up at multiple places. Amidst fool-proof arrangements, we do not believe the farmers will be able to pose any kind of disruption, nor will we allow any such thing.”

Modi flagged security concern in 2022

On February 14, 2022, during his rally at Jalandhar, the Prime Minister had accused the local administration of not clearing his visit to the Shakti Peeth of Devi Talab. He had said: “I wanted to visit the Shakti Peeth of Devi Talab after this event but the police and administration said they were helpless. They asked to stick to a helicopter visit. This is the state of the government”. He added, “But I will return to ‘Maa’. I will bow my head to her.”

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