Jat leaders were furious after they were not allowed to meet Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar here on Thursday, claiming they were invited by the district administration for talks with the CM.
A group of 15 Jat leaders reached the John Hall in the Civil Lines area at 11 am, the designated time conveyed to them by the government functionaries. The leaders removed their shoes, sat on a mat inside the hall and waited for arrival of the CM. A few moments later, they were told by local leaders of the ruling BJP to leave the venue, telling them that they were not expected to be part of the meeting.
Later, BJP leaders and government functionaries said that there was some confusion and the meeting was for BJP leaders from ten sensitive districts of Haryana.
“I got calls from the deputy commissioner and the commissioner of police inviting us for talks with the CM to resolve the issue amicably. We reached the venue on time but were removed by local BJP leaders. I think the CM is being misguided on the issue by some people with vested interests,” said RS Dahiya, general secretary, Jat Swabhiman Manch, Gurgaon.
Gurgaon deputy commissioner Hardeep Singh said some Jat leaders were also BJP members, which might have led to the confusion.
Dahiya, who was part of the delegation, said they handed over a memorandum to the authorities and left the spot.
“We believe in talks and peaceful resolution of all issues. But it is unfortunate that high-ups are being misguided by the lower-rung leaders,” he added.
MEETING OF BJP LEADERS
Sources said the CM had planned a meeting with Jat leaders in Gurgaon as the community leaders are preparing to observe Balidan Divas (martyrdom day) on February 19 in a big way in Jat-dominated districts to commemorate those killed in Jat agitation last year.
BJP leaders from Rohtak, Jhajjar, Hisar, Sirsa, Bhiwani, Dadri, Sonepat, Panipat, Jind and Kaithal attended the meeting that lasted two-and-a-half-hours.
Union minister Birender Singh, Haryana BJP president Subhash Barala, MPs Dharambir and Ramesh Kaushik; Haryana finance minister Captain Abhimanyu, chief parliamentary secretary Kamal Gupta were among senior party leaders present in the meeting.
“There was some confusion. Jat leaders were never invited for the meeting. They came, submitted a memorandum and left the spot,” said Amit Arya, media advisor to Khattar.
The sources said the government is of the view that the agitation is politically manoeuvred and it should be tackled with a counter-propaganda. Party leaders were sensitised to train workers in presenting facts about the issue before the public. They said the CM made it clear in the meeting that majority of the demands of the community had been accepted and the issue of reservation was stuck in legal tangles.
Dhankar said the government had withdrawn 1,500 cases against the protesters and 622 serious cases are pending in connection with protests in February last year.
“Kin of those killed were given financial assistance and jobs have been announced for them. The government is mulling giving assistance to those injured. Our doors are always open for talks,” he said.
Dhankar said the party workers were made aware of the present status on the reservation issue and were asked to sensitise the public with facts.
CONFUSION Leaders claim they were invited for talks with Khattar in Gurgaon, BJP says it was meeting of party leaders