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Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Red Fort violence fallout: A day after pointing a finger at Haryana youth, Punjab farmer leader apologises, appeals for unity

Haryana farmers have been supporting this struggle since beginning, and their village panchayats have also been bringing regular langar at the protest sites.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
Updated: January 29, 2021 8:42:53 am
Republic Day tractor rally, Delhi violence, Farmers Protests, Republic Day violence, Red Fort violence, Delhi news, Indian Express newsProtesting farmers hoisting the kesari flag at the Red Fort in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

BKU (Rajewal) chief Balbir Singh Rajewal has apologised to Haryana farmers for a speech in which he allegedly called Haryana youth “misguided” and accused them of leading others towards Red Fort during the tractor parade. The purported speech was made on Wednesday from the stage of Samyukt Kisan Morcha at the Singhu border.

While talking about the Republic Day violence in the speech, Rajewal said: “When we came to Delhi borders on November 26, I was asked to take the meeting of Haryana farmers. But I had refused to chair that meeting saying that their youngsters were not in control of the senior leaders of the union and in the past they had failed the Jat Andolan. When we started dharna at Delhi borders, we took a pledge from Haryana farmers not to fail this andolan like the Jat Andolan. But on Tuesday, their misguided youth were leading others towards the Red Fort.”

While he spoke for more than 40 minutes from the stage of SKM at Singhu border, a 45-second video clip where mentions Haryana youth has been widely shared on social media.

The clip that is doing the rounds also carries subtitles in Hindi. On Thursday, Rajewal in a Facebook live message said, “Many people are showing a part of my speech by editing where I had spoken about Haryana farmers. Sometimes, we need to say some things to our children when they make a mistake. However, I never meant to hurt anyone. If someone has felt bad, I feel sorry for the same. This is a Kisan Aandolan and I have worked in 1978 with many Haryana unions and even later as well, then why will I say anything about Hayrana farmers?” Rajewal repeatedly said sorry to Haryana farmers in this FB live and asked them to continue being part of the dharna as normal and make it strong.

He said, “Government has succeeded in this deep conspiracy, our souls are deeply injured even now. We feel bad about the disrespect to the National Flag at the Red Fort on January 26. We took out Sadhbhavna Yatra at Singhu border on Thursday afternoon in respect of our National Flag and even on January 30, all union leaders of SKM will be sitting on a day-long hunger strike to remember Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi and also to press for our cause. This Aandolan is very big, let us all stay united and make it stronger and I appeal to Haryana brothers to continue their dharnas at borders and other places as normal.”

Meanwhile, Haryana farmers had lifted their dharna from few places in much before Rajewal’s speech. After the speech, farmers started objecting to the accusations made by Rajewal. Not only this, even Gurnam Singh Chaduni, President BKU Haryana has also appealed people not to vacate dharna sites and continue protests. He even went in many areas around Singhu border to meet farmers so as to tell them to stay put till laws are not repealed.

Haryana farmers have been supporting this struggle since beginning, and their village panchayats have also been bringing regular langar at the protest sites.

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