As Haryana used its might, including tear gas, water cannons and multilayer barricading, on Thursday in an attempt to stop farmers from marching to Delhi to protest against the agri laws, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his Punjab counterpart Capt Amarinder Singh engaged in a virtual war of words. While Amarinder slammed Haryana’s move to stop farmers as “totally undemocratic and unconstitutional”, Khattar told the Punjab CM to stop “inciting innocent farmers”.
“@Capt Amarinder Ji, I’ve said it earlier and I’m saying it again, I’ll leave politics if there’ll be any trouble on the MSP — therefore, please stop inciting innocent farmers,” Khattar tweeted.
Khattar also accused the Punjab CM of “only tweeting and running away from talks” with him for the last three days on the issue. “I’ve been trying to reach out to you for the last 3 days but, sadly, you have decided to stay unreachable — is this how serious you are for farmers’ issues? You’re only tweeting and running away from talks, why?,” Khattar said in another tweet.
Continuing with his attack on Amarinder, the senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader said, “Time for your Lies, Deception and Propaganda is over — let the people see your real face. Please stop putting the lives of people in danger during the Corona pandemic. I urge you not to play with the lives of the people – at least avoid cheap politics during the time of the pandemic”.
Amarinder, however, hit back at Khattar asking if he was inciting the farmers then why were the peasants from Haryana too marching to Delhi.
“Shocked at your response @mlkhattar ji. It’s the farmers who’ve to be convinced on MSP, not me. You should’ve tried to talk to them before their #DilliChalo. And if you think I’m inciting farmers then why are Haryana farmers also marching to Delhi,” Amarinder asked in a tweet.
“As for endangering lives during #COVID19, have you forgotten that it was @BJP4India led central govt that pushed through those #FarmLaws amid the pandemic, uncaring about the impact they’d have on our farmers? Why didn’t you speak out then @mlkhattar Ji,” the Punjab CM asked Khattar.
Shocked at your response @mlkhattar ji. It’s the farmers who’ve to be convinced on MSP, not me. You should’ve tried to talk to them before their #DilliChalo. And if you think I’m inciting farmers then why are Haryana farmers also marching to Delhi?
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) November 26, 2020
Earlier in the day, the senior Congress leader had lashed out at the BJP-JJP alliance government in Haryana for stopping farmers from moving towards Delhi, saying the use of “brute force” against them is “totally undemocratic and unconstitutional”
Haryana had earlier announced to completely seal its borders with Punjab to prevent farmers from entering the state for their ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest march against the Centre’s farm laws on November 26-27.
“Why is @mlkhattar govt in Haryana stopping the farmers from moving to Delhi? The tyrannical use of brute force against peacefully protesting farmers is totally undemocratic and unconstitutional,” the Punjab CM said in a tweet.
He said farmers have been peacefully protesting in Punjab against the farm laws for two months. “Why is Haryana govt provoking them by resorting to force? Don’t the farmers have the right to pass peacefully through a public highway,” he asked Khattar.
The Punjab CM said it was a “sad irony” that the constitutional right of farmers were being “oppressed” on Constitution Day. “Let them pass @mlkhattar ji, don’t push them to the brink. Let them take their voice to Delhi peacefully,” he said, while appealing to the BJP to direct the Khattar-led government not to indulge in “strong arm tactics” against the farmers.
On Wednesday, Khattar had invited various farmer organisations for talks. Although they had initially agreed but later backed out. “The CM had invited leaders of the farmers unions for talks and even assured them that he would facilitate a conversation between their unions and a senior union leader. Although they had initially agreed, but there were some hooligans who prevailed upon others and then they backed out from talks,” Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij told The Indian Express.
Vij added that the district administrations, at their level, too were in process of holding talks with the farmer union leaders to avoid any disruption of law and order and to prevent large crowd formations in wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.