NEW DELHI: Meghalaya governor Satya Pal Malik, who was a BJP MP from Baghpat in western Uttar Pradesh, on Monday spoke out in support of the farmers protesting against the three agriculture laws. With just months left for the crucial assembly elections in five states, including Uttar Pradesh where the BJP has a government, Malik said the saffron party won’t return to power if the demands of the farmers aren’t met. He was speaking to the media in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu. The protesting farmers have been campaigning against the BJP in UP and other states amid a prolonged stalemate with the Centre over the three farm laws. They want the laws to be withdrawn. Malik also took a dig at the Centre over the recent incidents of civilian killings in Jammu & Kashmir, saying that terrorists didn’t dare enter within 50 kilometres of Srinagar when he served as the governor of the erstwhile state. “When I was there, there was no stone pelting, no (terrorist) recruitment and nobody was dying. Terrorist didn’t dare enter within a radius of 50 kilometres of Srinagar. Now they are openly killing inside the city,” he said. The Meghalaya governor also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah not to offend the farmers. Malik said that BJP leaders can’t even enter several villages of election-bound Uttar Pradesh now. “I am from Meerut. In my area, no BJP leader can enter any village. In Meerut, in Muzzafarnagar, in Baghpat, they can’t enter,” he told reporters. Asked if he would relinquish his post to stand with farmers, Malik said that he is standing with farmers and while there was no need to relinquish his post at present, he would do that too if needed. “None of the laws are in favour of farmers. The country in which farmers and soldiers are not satisfied, that country cannot move ahead. That country cannot be saved. Hence, the Army and farmers should be kept satisfied,” Malik said. After BJP MP from UP Varun Gandhi, Malik is the second prominent face within the BJP to openly support the agitating farmers. Varun Gandhi had recently came out in defence of the farmers and played a video clip on social media of former BJP stalwart and late PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s old speech defending the agitating peasants.

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