The farmers protesting against the central agri laws in Haryana are heading for another confrontation with the state government with the Bhartiya Kisan Union Friday announcing to oppose a “kisan panchayat” to be addressed by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Kaimla village of Karnal district Sunday. The “kisan panchayat” is being organised by BJP MLA from Gharaunda Harvinder Kalyan to create awareness among the farmers about the “benefits of three laws”.
Khattar, who was in Delhi to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah, meanwhile, said that the public meeting will take place as per the schedule.
The BKU said it will oppose the CM’s programme because on one hand the government is calling the farmer leaders for talks while on the other hand, it is holding functions to mobilise support for the agri laws. The farmers gathered at Ghraunda toll plaza on Ambala-Delhi national highway earlier in the day before moving to Kaimla to hold a panchayat there against the CM’s programme. The protesters also removed the barricades installed by the police at the outskirts of the village. However, a group of villagers said they were in favour of the CM’s public meeting. “We decided to return back to toll plaza to avert a confrontation there,” said BKU leader Jagdip Singh Aulakh.
The farmers have now planned to block all roads leading to the village on Sunday. On the other hand, the administration is getting prepared a temporary helipad near the venue amid a possibility that Khattar mat take the aerial route to the village.
Khattar, meanwhile, said that the public meeting will take place as per the schedule. “The meeting has been scheduled by our MLA for interaction with the public,” said Khattar.
Karnal SP Ganga Ram Punia told The Indian Express that adequate police force will be deployed to maintain law and order at the village. Sources said, additional force from adjoining districts will also be called in to assist the local authorities.
The farmers and the BJP-JJP alliance government in Haryana have remained at loggerheads over the agitation against the agri laws. Recently, in Ambala, Khattar had faced protests by the angry farmers. Later, a proposed visit of the CM to Bhiwani was postponed keeping in view the farmers’ agitation.
A month back, Khattar had to cancel his scheduled programme in Padha village of Karnal district after a group of villagers vandalised the helipad, uprooted tents pitched at the venue and also threw away the chairs and other furniture. Villagers had also burnt Khattar’s effigy.
The Cabinet ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, and the legislators of the ruling alliance too have been facing ire of the farmers. In a series of protests, a group of villagers had damaged the helipad in Uchana, where they were expecting Chautala to land in a Jind village about two weeks back.
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