Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday blamed his Punjab counterpart Captain Amarinder Singh for the farmers’ protest where thousands of farmers are stationed outside Delhi as part of their Dilli Chalo march in protest against the Centre’s farm laws.
Khattar’s statement has come two days after a Twitter battle between the chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana. Thanking Haryana Police, Khattar said Punjab CM Amarinder Singh is fanning the farmers’ protest and his office-bearers are also leading the protest. Khattar told reporters that it is farmers from Punjab who are protesting and Haryana farmers have stayed away from this protest, which could be his way of telling the BJP leadership that he has quelled any such opposition.
Like in his Twitter exchange with Amarinder Singh, Khattar repeated his claim that he had tried to contact Singh about the farmer’s march but had not got any response. Condemning the use of lathis, water cannon and teargas shells on farmers by Haryana Police, Amarinder Singh had urged Manohar Lal Khattar on Twitter to clear the protesters’ way to Delhi. He tweeted that clear the highway for farmers, don’t push them to the brink and allow them to raise their voice to Delhi peacefully.
Asking for the reason behind stopping farmers from moving to Delhi, Singh had attacked the Haryana government. He said the use of brute force against peaceful protesters is undemocratic and unconstitutional. Responding to Singh, Khattar had said he had been trying to reach out to him for the last 3 days but the phone was unreachable, which, the Haryana CM claimed, reflected on Singh’s seriousness in resolving the issue. Khattar said Singh is too far from talks but is just busy tweeting.
Farmers from several states, though predominantly from Punjab, have been marching towards Delhi against the farm laws and the Haryana Police had been instructed to stop them. Apart from lathicharges, water cannons and tear gassing, the police had also set up barricades with barbed wire to stop farmers.