HARYANA DEPUTY Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala’s younger brother and senior leader of Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) Digvijay Chautala on Thursday condemned the police’s use of force on agitating farmers at Pipli (Kurkshetra) and demanded a probe into the incident.
JJP is an alliance partner of the Manohar Lal Khatter-led Haryana government. Currently Digvijay is heading JJP’s students wing, Indian National Students Organization (INSO).
Hours after the lathicharge on farmers, Digvijay tweeted, “Today’s incident of lathicharge on farmers is condemenable. We consider the pain of farmers as of ours. Today’s episode should be inquired. It’s a painful incident which should not have occurred.”
Later, speaking to The Indian Express, Digvijay said he would discuss the matter with the chief minister and deputy chief minister. “Resorting to lathicharge is brutal especially on a senior citizen as the photos being played on media show. It has hurt the sentiments of farmers in general and we understand their pain,” said Digvijay, adding that “the lathicharge can’t be justified in any manner”.
The biggest demand of the farmers is a law meant to ensure Minimum Support Price (MSP) of the crops especially in the wake of introduction of recent three central ordinances on agriculture. “The government should consider it. I believe if this aspect is added in the ordinance, it would be beneficial for the farmers,” said Digvijay, adding that there was no harm in introducing a separate ordinance for MSP.
Asked about the future course of agitation, Digvijay said that the government and leaders would speak to the farmers. “They need to be guided, they need to be protected from those who are misguiding them,” said the JJP leader.
Digvijay’s comments have come days after a recent indirect verbal battle between Dushyant Chautala and Home Minister Anil Vij, who looks after the police department in Haryana, over the alleged liquor scam during the corona lockdown. Dushyant and Vij did not take on each other directly but they raised questions on the functioning of each other’s departments.
Citing an increase in the revenue of his excise department recently, Dushyant had denied any scam in his department but on the same day, Vij had disclosed that a vigilance probe would be conducted into the matter.
The other reason, which is believed to be behind Digvijay’s comments is JJP’s vote bank among farmers, especially followers of late Devi Lal, former deputy prime minister. Farming communities support in particular belts was one among the reasons behind JJP’s performance in 2019 Assembly polls when it had won ten Vidhan Sabha seats. It’s believed that the JJP doesn’t want to annoy the farmers by siding with the government on the episode of police force.