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Friday, July 23, 2021

Making repeal of farm laws precondition for talks won’t serve any purpose, says Khattar

The Chief Minister said that the protesting farmer unions should not remain adamant on repeal of the new farm laws, adding that making it a precondition for talks with the government does not serve any purpose.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: July 1, 2021 7:30:13 am
Explaining the procedure, Khattar said that suggestions and demands made by the villagers will be directly visible to the sarpanch/panchayat samiti member/zilla parishad member/MLA and MP. (File photo)

Up against a relentless farmers’ agitation, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar Wednesday said that his government is “patient but will take action if any violent activity takes place”.

He said that the protesting farmer unions should not remain adamant on repeal of the new central farm laws, adding that making it a precondition for talks with the government does not serve any purpose.

He also claimed that only a “handful of people” were opposing the farm laws and that “common farmers are happy”. “Those spearheading the agitation are in reality not farmers. Real farmers have no objection with the farm laws, they are happy,” he said.

Talking to the journalists, the Chief Minister said, “They are our own people. We are patient, we are tolerating even if they are making some comments. But crossing a limit is not in the interest of anybody. Once when they crossed the limit, they were told to give in writing that they will continue the agitation peacefully and won’t indulge in violence. Action will be taken against them if violent activity takes place.”

He added: “There has been a sexual assault, murder, and also disputes with local people about roads being blocked for which even panchayats have been held.”

The Haryana Police had last month launched a probe into allegations by the father of the victim woman, who died after showing Covid-like symptoms, at a hospital in Bahadurgarh in Jhajjar district, that she had been allegedly raped by two men she had accompanied to the farmers protest site at Tikri border. The CM also referred to the death of a 42-year-old man whose family members alleged that he was set on fire by four people in Bahadurgarh. According to the complaint lodged by the victim’s brother, the four men were part of the ongoing farmers agitation at the Tikri border near Delhi.

Reacting to Khattar’s statement, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha said: “Khattar made highly denigrating statements against the farmers’ movement. It is clear that this is an orchestrated effort by BJP-RSS to attack, defame and disrupt the protests. They are fearful of the ever-increasing strength of the farmers’ movement. These are ugly, undignified tactics and will not succeed.”

The CM, meanwhile, further alleged that those opposing the farm laws are only doing so due to political reasons.

“Their Punjab team is doing so because polls are approaching there. But there are no polls due in our state. Here the agenda is to defame the government using political angle. And the Congress is also supporting them in this,” he said.

He added, “There is a sense of respect in the society for farmers but a handful of people who call themselves as farmers and are agitating have actually defamed the true farmers. Because of these politically motivated so-called farmers, businesses of the people living in the nearby villages and towns have been stalled as they have blocked the roads in the name of farmers’ agitation.”

“The people from nearby panchayats are visiting protesting sites to hold positive talks with those protesting there and are urging to clear the roads blocked by them so that they can restart their businesses which are currently unoperational due to blockades done by the protesters,” said the Haryana CM.

(With PTI Inputs)

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