Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday accused the Congress government in Punjab of driving the farmers’ agitation against the BJP-led Centre’s three farm laws.
“Isme Punjab government ka haath hai. I’m levelling a serious allegation here. Otherwise (farmer leader) Balbir Singh Rajewal would not have been offering sweets to the Punjab chief minister (Capt Amarinder Singh),” he said at a press conference in Chandigarh.
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Khattar said that 85% of those sitting at the Singhu and Tikri borders adjoining the national capital were from Punjab.
On Capt Amarinder asking Khattar to apologise to farmers, he said: “Who is he to ask me to apologise or resign. Rather, he should resign for instigating farmers. You can count people sitting on Delhi’s borders. They are mostly from Punjab, not from Haryana. Farmers of Haryana are satisfied.”
Disruptions won’t help: CM to farmers
He said that the protesting farmers should adhere to norms of democracy.
“This agitation is not gaining anything due to such acts of disruption. The public sentiment is turning against them. Right to expression is a fundamental right but no one has the right to disrupt. They did not allow me to land at a meeting venue on a previous occasion. I decided to avoid landing since it would have created a big problem,” the chief minister said.
“I’m experienced enough to handle the farmers’ agitation. If farmers sit down and are willing to talk, a way can be found. But they actually don’t want a solution, they only want to play politics,” he said.
Referring to the action of Karnal sub divisional magistrate (SDM) Ayush Sinha, who was heard instructing police personnel to hit farmers on the head if they broke barricades to disrupt a BJP meeting on Saturday, Khattar admitted that his choice of words was not right.
“He (Sinha) should not have used such language though it is the job of officials to enforce law and order. I’m not saying he should not have enforced the rule of law strictly,” he said.
Mahapanchayat in Gharaunda
Farmers from across Haryana gathered for a mahapanchayat convened by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha at the grain market in Gharaunda town on Monday afternoon against the police lathicharge on farm protesters in Karnal on Saturday.
Senior representatives of the SKM are deliberating on intensifying the agitation against the BJP-JJP government in Haryana. They have been demanding action against the police and the Karnal SDM.
Bharatiya Kisan Union state president Gurnam Singh Charuni had urged all farmer unions to attend the mahapanchayat for a unanimous decision. He alleged that the farmers were beaten up 15km from the BJP meeting.
Haryana deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala has also assured farmers that action will be taken against the SDM but Karnal deputy commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav has given him a clean chit, saying that the officer was trying to prevent farmers from removing barricades and his intention was right.