A day after clashes erupted between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) workers at Soram village in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan has alleged that the clashes took place following an announcement from a local mosque. Balyan had visited the village on Monday to pay homage to a local who passed away a few days ago.
10-12 family members of a Samajwadi Party candidate misbehaved with me in Bhaisnwal. 5-6 Lok Dal workers did same when I was in Soram to attend a function. After I left, a clash erupted. Announcements were made from mosque to unite against me:Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan (23.02) pic.twitter.com/cHDZFgZLdB— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 24, 2021
Speaking about the incident, Balyan said 10-12 family members of a Samajwadi Party candidate misbehaved with him in Bhaisnwal. He added that 5-6 RLD workers misbehaved with him when he was on a personal visit to Soram. “After I left, a clash erupted. Announcements were made from a mosque to unite against me”, he added.
According to reports, incident slogans were raised against Balyan when he visited farmers in Shamli, Uttar Pradesh a day before. As per police, the BJP MP was attending a condolence ceremony in Soram when an argument took place among the supporters of the BJP and the RLD. This escalated into clashes. However, the villagers intervened and drove away both the parties.
“The MP had come to a house in Soram for a prayer meet. An argument broke out among local supporters of both parties. A scuffle took place and few people received minor injuries. We are in the process of filing as both sides will be submitting a written complaint. There is no law-and-order situation presently in the village”, an official from Shahpur police station was quoted as saying.
Balyan has alleged that the clashes were pre-planned to cause disruption during his visit.
RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary blames BJP for the clashes
Following the clashes, RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary took to Twitter saying that the clashes took place between BJP workers and farmers. He blamed the BJP for the clashes.
सोरम गाँव में बीजेपी नेताओं और किसानों के बीच संघर्ष, कई लोग घायल! किसान के पक्ष में बात नहीं होती तो कम से कम, व्यवहार तो अच्छा रखो। किसान की इज़्ज़त तो करो! इब कानूनों के फायदे बताने जा रहे सरकार के नुमाइंदों की गुंडागर्दी बर्दाश्त करेंगे गाँववाले?#मुजफ्फरनगर pic.twitter.com/X21oP7iTgP— Jayant Chaudhary (@jayantrld) February 22, 2021
Balyan alleged that the clashes were pre-planned to create tension
Taking a dig at the BJP regarding the farm laws, Chaudhary advised the party to behave properly with farmers. Responding to Chaudhary’ tweet, Balyan said that the clashes were pre-planned. He questioned the timing of Jayant Chaudhary’s tweet. “I was visiting a house in Soram since a person had died thirteen days ago. It was a personal visit…As I was sitting, some RLD workers came and tried to disturb the atmosphere by clashing with locals. They were eventually driven away. Even Jayant Chaudhary’s tweet had a timing. It’s just an effort to make sure the atmosphere is tense”, said Balyan.
Balyan, the Minister of State of Animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries, alleged that the people involved in the clashes were not farmers but RLD workers. “It was a re-planned clash, otherwise, how can you explain videos of the incident going out on social media instantly or tweet coming from an RLD leader instantly”, Balyan added.
A number of Mahapanchayats have been held by opposition parties in Western Uttar Pradesh amid the ongoing ‘farmers’ protest against the three farm laws. Last week, senior leadership of the BJP had held a meeting with the leaders from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana asking them to reach out to people in their constituencies to counter the narrative against the three farm laws.