Gurugram: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday said that farmers from his state did not participate in the ‘Dilli Chalo’ protest march against the Centre’s farm laws, adding the ongoing demonstrations is being driven by certain political parties and unions.
Khattar held his Punjab counterpart Amarinder Singh responsible for the thousands of farmers marching to Delhi. “The movement was started by farmers of Punjab. However, there is some connection with certain political parties and some unions. Farmers of Haryana did not take part in these protests (Dilli Chalo) and I would congratulate them for that. I would like to praise the Haryana police for performing their duty with utmost composure for the past two days,” Khattar told reporters in Gurugram.
“There is no point in trying to meet the government in such large numbers. I have made an appeal to the farmers that their representative should talk to the Centre. Even our union ministers and the Home Minister has reiterated this point. I don’t see any other way out of this,” he added.
The Haryana Chief Minister further condemned the politics that is being played in the name farmers’ protest.
Talking about Amarinder Singh’s criticism of Haryana Police, Khattar said, “I made continuous effort to get in touch with Amarinder Singh. We tried to get in touch with him but we could not get hold of him. This has never happened in my political career ever.”
This comes after Amarinder Singh on Friday slammed the Haryana government, accusing the state Police of taking a “confrontationist approach” against the farmers.
Over the reports of Khalistan connection in the farmers’ protest, Khattar said, “We had this input that there are certain unwanted elements that were present in these protests. It would be unwise to make those reports public at this moment. We will wait until we will gather substantial evidence.”
Farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana on Saturday morning began arriving at the Nirankari Samagam Ground on the outskirts of the national capital for a protest against the new farm laws.
After days of a standoff with police and after facing teargas shells, water cannons and barricading on various points on the Delhi-Haryana border by police, the farmers ‘Dilli Chalo’ march was allowed to enter Delhi on Friday and proceed to the ground in Burari situated in its north-west.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.