Updated: January 26, 2021 4:08:30 am
HARYANA Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar will be unfurling the national flag in Panchkula now on Republic Day instead of in Panipat, as scheduled earlier. A revised schedule changing the venues of unfurling of the national flag by the CM and other ministers was issued Monday. While no official reason was given, the new venues avoid districts such as Sonipat, Hisar, Palwal, Fatehabad, Rohtak, Kaithal, Jind, Charkhi Dadri and Sirsa, where massive mobilisation is on for the tractor parade by protesting farmers in Delhi on January 26.
The revised schedule, released by the office of Haryana Chief Secretary Vijai Vardhan, adds that “in case, due to any reason, the dignitaries could not reach their designated venues, then the Deputy Commissioner of the concerned district shall unfurl the national flag”. The deputy commissioners will also unfurl the flag in districts not covered by ministers under the revised schedule. Earlier, the venue for Haryana Governor S N Arya to unfurl the national flag had been shifted from Panchkula to the Raj Bhavan, citing the Covid-19 situation.
Saying they had tightened security around all venues, a senior Haryana officer told The Indian Express, “Although the farmer unions have issued an appeal not to disrupt Republic Day events, we are not taking any chances. What happened in Ambala or Kaimla in Karnal earlier was serious. No known farm leader was present there, those were miscreants at the ground level. A repeat cannot be ruled out.”
On December 8, during the Bharat Bandh call given by farmer unions, Khattar had to cancel a programme in Padha village of Karnal after villagers vandalised his helipad area and tents pitched for it. On December 24, Khattar’s cavalcade was attacked by an agitated mob holding farm union flags in Ambala. On January 10, the CM was forced to return without holding a Kisan Mahapanchayat programme in Kaimla village after protesters had entered the venue and damaged the helipad where he was meant to land.
Thousands of tractors are on their way to Delhi from across Haryana for the Republic Day parade planned against the farm laws. On Monday, Khattar chaired a high-level meeting to assess the security situation, attended by Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala, Haryana DGP Manoj Yadava and intelligence chief Alok Mittal, among other senior officers.
The leaders whose Republic Day venues have been shifted include Assembly Speaker and BJP leader Gian Chand Gupta (Yamunanagar to Kurukshetra), Transport Minister Mool Chand Sharma (Rewari to Bhiwani), Power Minister and Independent MLA Ranjit Singh (Bhiwani to Yamunangar), Agriculture Minister J P Dalal (Rohtak to Rewari), Cooperation Minister Dr Banwari Lal (Nuh to Karnal), Woman and Child Development Minister Kamlesh Dhanda (Fatehabad to Nuh), Archaeology & Museums Minister and JJP MLA Anoop Dhanak (Sirsa to Faridabad) and Sports & Youth Affairs Minister Sandeep Singh (originally meant to unfurl a flag in Palwal, he is not on the revised schedule).
Deputy CM Chautala will attend the Republic Day event at Ambala, as originally scheduled, and Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa in Mahendragarh, Education Minister Kanwar Pal in Gurgaon and Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Om Prakash Yadav in Jhajjar, as planned.
In Sonipat, Hisar, Palwal, Fatehabad, Rohtak, Kaithal, Jind, Charkhi Dadri and Sirsa, deputy commissioners shall unfurl the flag. Chief Secretary Vardhan will attend the event at Panipat.
Home and Health Minister Anil Vij is not in the list of ministers attending Republic Day events as he is recovering from Covid-19.
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