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Punjab BJP general secretary Kang resigns over farm laws

October 18, 2020 06:00 AM

courtesy  HT OCT 18

Punjab BJP general secretary Kang resigns over farm laws
Quits party’s primary membership, says cannot be a silent follower like other party leaders; likely to join Akali Dal

Ravinder Vasudeva

CHANDIGARH : The Punjab Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unit’s general secretary and a prominent Sikh face in its state core committee, Malvinder Singh Kang, on Saturday resigned from the primary membership of the party in protest against the Central government’s recently enacted agriculture laws.

A two-time student council president of Panjab University, Chandigarh, from the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU), Kang said he was feeling suffocated after enactment of the farm laws and repeatedly raised the issue before the party leadership, but to no avail.

A right-hand man of state BJP president Ashwani Sharma, Kang stunned the party with his exit as he was in touch with the state leaders throughout the day before announcing his resignation around 5pm on a news channel.

His exit is being considered as a big setback for the BJP in Punjab and is likely to further weaken the party’s position in the perception game on the agriculture laws. The BJP leadership had been maintaining that those agitating against the laws were misguided by the political parties.

Kang is likely to join the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in the coming days and is learnt to have held a meeting with the top party leaders.

“The only logic the Punjab BJP leaders have is whatever Narendra Modi does is good for the state. I kept on telling that people of Punjab and Haryana were out on the streets against these laws and the party should talk to them. I even raised the issue in a meeting chaired by RSS leader Manmohan Vaidya a few days back, but nobody paid heed,” Kang told HT.

‘I cannot be a bhakt’

Kang claimed that no state BJP leader, including state BJP chief, has the guts to speak at national level and neither they have their own plan for the state.

“The Punjab leaders need to understand that Punjabiat comes first. In one of the party’s core committee meetings, when I questioned these laws, Tarun Chugh (now national general secretary) snubbed me saying we should not speak Pakistan’s language,” said Kang.

A two-time PU senator, Kang hails from Madhya Pradesh and joined student politics Chandigarh. He remained general secretary of the BJP’s youth wing and was directly elevated as general secretary.

State BJP chief Ashwani Sharma, when contacted, said everyone has the right to choose their political path. “But as far as his claims are concerned, the BJP is the only party where you can put your voice across all platforms. But it’s not necessary that the party would agree with all the voices,” said Sharma.

The BJP leaders are seeing Akalis’ hand in the development, especially keeping in view the SAD leaders, including spokespersons, circulated Kang’s resignation on social media.

Kang is learnt to be eyeing ticket for the 2022 assembly election from Mohali where he lives. The BJP was banking on him in view of the polls due to a dearth of Sikh faces in its cadre.

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