Updated: October 3, 2021 10:43:10 pm
Barely a month after Haryana IAS officer Ayush Sinha’s “break heads” remark against farmers resulted in a major controversy, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has made comments that are snowballing into a political row. In a video, the CM can be heard asking party workers to create “500-600-1,000 volunteers” in every district of north and west Haryana, and be ready to “face sticks, imprisonment”, which will make them “big leaders”.
अगर प्रदेश का मुख्य मंत्री ही हिंसा फैलाने, समाज को तुड़वाने और क़ानून व्यवस्था को ख़त्म करने की बात करेंगे, तो प्रदेश में क़ानून और सविंधान का शासन चल ही नही सकता।
आज भाजपा के किसान विरोधी षड्यंत्र का भंडाफोड़ हो ही गया।
ऐसी अराजक सरकार को चलता करने का समय आ गया है। pic.twitter.com/kSgk8kiCUx
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) October 3, 2021
Khattar made these remarks during a meeting with workers belonging to BJP’s kisan morcha at his residence here on Sunday. A portion of his video soon went viral on social media. Khattar was addressing the gathering, the link of which was live on YouTube. However, after the portion of his controversial remarks went viral on social media, the video was taken off.
TheIndianExpress.com reached out to the state government on Khattar’s controversial remark going viral, to which a senior Haryana government officer not willing to be named, said: “As part of mischief, a selected portion of the meeting was being circulated. The chief minister said it in a lighter tone. He did not actually mean it. Rather, after talking about this, he immediately added that people should not indulge in any violence.”
Apparently, talking about the farmers, Khattar was caught on tape saying – “Baatein aapko bataani padengi. Kuch naye kisano ke jo sangthan aur ubhar rahe hain, unko bhi protsahan dena padega, unko aage chalaana padega, aur agar har zile mein khaas kar ke yeh uttar or paschim Haryana ke, dakshin Haryana mein ye samasya jaada nahi hai, lekin uttar-paschim Haryana ke har zile mein apne kisano ke 500-700-1,000 log aap log apne khade karo, unko volunteer banao aur fir jagah-jagah Sathe Sathyam Smacharet – kya arth hota hai iska…” Somebody from the audience says, “Tit for tat”. Khattar then repeated, “’Sathe Sathyam Samacharet’ kya arth hota hai iska, kaun batayega…” Somebody from the audience again said something, but the audio was not clear.
Khattar then said, “Angrezi mein bata diya na, Hindi mein bata – jaise ko taisa; kha lo dande, Hain; theek hai!” Somebody from the audience again said something (audio not clear), to which Khattar replied: “Nahi, voh dekh lenge. Aur doosri baat ye hai jab khavenge dande to jamaanat ki parvah mat karo, maheena, do maheena, cheh maheena reh aaoge na toh itni padhai is meetingo mein nahi hogi, agar do-chaar maheene vahan reh aaoge toh bade leader apne aap ban jaoge. Do-chaar maheene mein apne aap bade neta ban jaoge, yeh itihaas mein naam likha jaata hai.”
He, however, added, “Isme ek hi baat dhyaan rakhni hai, josh ke saath anushasan ko bana ke rakhna hai. Jo soochna mil gayi ke yahan tak karna hai, iske aage nahi karna hai, toh fir nahi karna hai.”
AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala immediately lashed out at the chief minister and the state government of Haryana in a series of tweets in which he tagged Khattar’s video. “Your mantra of instigating BJP supporters to attack protesting farmers with sticks will never succeed. Spreading anarchy in an open programme after taking oath of the Constitution is sedition,” Surjewala said.
“If a chief minister of a state will talk about spreading violence, communal disharmony and lawlessness, the governance as per law and Constitution cannot function in such a state. Today, BJP’s anti-farmer conspiracy has been exposed,” Surjewala added.
Sources disclosed that for the last few days, Khattar has been meeting party workers and asking them to “get proactive on social media” and “vehemently rebut the rumours that are being spread on social media regarding central farm legislations and the ongoing farmers agitation”. He had also met party’s yuva morcha workers on Saturday. It was in the same series of meetings that he met party’s kisan morcha office bearers at his residence, in which he passed these remarks.
“His [chief minister’s] aim was basically to encourage party workers to be active so that all sorts of rumours that are being spread regarding farm laws can be negated, both on social media and also in public life. He also asked party workers to stay in discipline. He also said that once the party workers are asked to stop, they should follow the instructions and immediately stop”, one of Khattar’s close aides said.
Khattar’s controversial remarks have come at a time when the state government has ordered a Commission of Inquiry to probe into the circumstances that led to police lathicharge on farmers at Bastara toll plaza in Karnal on August 28 and also the role of IAS officer Ayush Sinha, the then SDM, Karnal, for the officer’s “break-the-heads” remark.
While the Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice Somnath Aggarwal (retd) has already been notified, the said IAS officer has proceeded on leave and shall not resume office till the inquiry concludes.