Notwithstanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s repeated allegations—last time on December 25–that the opposition parties are misleading the farmers, another National Democratic Alliance constituent, the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) on Saturday snapped its ties with the ruling combination in the Centre.
The party has three MPs from Rajasthan. RLP is the second party after the Shiromani Akali Dal to desert the NDA. The SAD quit the NDA just after the three farm laws were enacted in September last. Its lone minister in the Modi cabinet, Harsimrat Kaur Badal had resigned from the government on September 17.
Earlier on Saturday the president of RLP, Hanuman Beniwal, who is MP from Nagaur, led a march of thousands of farmers from Rajasthan to Delhi. He demanded immediate scrapping of the three farm laws.
He later told the media-persons that though he was leaving the NDA his party is not going with the Congress, whose policy it would continue to oppose. He said that his party would fight the by-election for the three Assembly seats on its own.
Beniwal clarified that when the three farm bills were being passed in Lok Sabha, he was not present inside the House.
Though RLP is a small party with a limited base in Rajasthan and its departure from the NDA is not going to have any impact on the Modi government yet Beniwal’s decision has come as a sort of blow to the BJP whose top brass was repeatedly blaming the Congress and other regional parties for supporting the farmers’ movement.
After the departure of SAD and RLP, two friends of the BJP, it is now clear that the saffron party is finding it difficult to keep its flock together. Only recently the former Minister of State in the Modi cabinet Chaudhary Birender Singh openly defied the party’s stand on farmers’ agitation.