The Jannayak Janata Party, Bharatiya Janata Party’s ally in Haryana, on Tuesday urged the Narendra Modi-led government to quickly address the concerns of the farmers protesting against the new agricultural laws near Delhi. Meanwhile, Independent MLA Sombir Sangwan withdrew his support to the Haryana coalition government over the laws, PTI reported.

JJP founder Ajay Chautala said his party wanted the standoff between the farmers and the Centre to end soon. “The ones who provide food to this country are sitting on the roads today,” he said. “Both the government and the farmers are troubled by the standoff. It would be best to find a solution at the earliest.”

Chautala insisted that the Centre give a written assurance to the farmers about the minimum support price. “The Centre has repeatedly said that MSP will continue,” he said. “There should not be a problem about giving one line in writing.

The Manohar Lal Khattar-led Haryana government has been heavily criticised for authorising the use of water cannons and tear gas on the farmers marching to Delhi. Khattar had last week claimed that his government had “inputs” on presence of Khalistani separatists in the ongoing farmers’ agitation.

Sangwan, the independent MLA who withdrew support to the Haryana government, also said that he was dismayed by the way the farmers were treated. “This government instead of sympathising with the farmers’ cause used all measures like water cannons and tear gas to stop them from marching to Delhi,” he was quoted as saying by PTI. “I cannot continue my support to such a government.” Sangwan represented the Dadri Assembly constituency.

Meanwhile, the representatives of farmers unions on Tuesday met the government to discuss their demands as their agitation entered the sixth day. The farmers have been camping at the interstate borders and have refused to budge till their concerns are addressed.

The BJP has run into trouble with allies because of the farm laws. On Monday the saffron party’s ally in Rajasthan, the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party, had threatened to quit the alliance if the Centre did not withdraw the three new farm laws. The party’s chief Hanuman Beniwal also said that the Centre must immediately hold talks with the agitating farmers. The RLP has a huge supporter base among the land-holding Jat community.

In September, the BJP’s Punjab ally Shiromani Akali Dal had pulled out of the NDA over the three farming laws. SAD leader and Cabinet minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal also quit her central post on September 18, in protest against the laws.

The farm laws

The farmers are protesting against the three ordinances – Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Ordinance 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment & Protection) Assurance and Farm Service Ordinance 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 – that were passed in September. They were signed into laws by President Ram Nath Kovind on September 27.

Farmers and traders have also alleged that the government wants to discontinue the minimum support price regime in the name of reforms. They fear that the laws will leave them at the mercy of corporate powers. The government has maintained that farm laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.

Follow today’s updates on the protests here