The violent turn to the Jat reservation protest in Haryana has the BJP worried about its political implications in the northern state it rules. On a day three protesters were killed in police firing, the BJP called the agitation leaderless and being fuelled by “anarchists”, even as it warned those indulging in violence will be dealt with sternly.
BJP general secretary incharge of Haryana Anil Jain said, “They (protesters) know the reality. The state government is doing everything within its powers. We had been dealing with them patiently. It is not possible that they keep attacking and we coddle them.”
The BJP won Haryana for the first time last year but put up a non-Jat as CM, a grudge that the community also nurses.
Meanwhile, former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the disagreement and lack of coherence within the BJP leadership has led to the worsening of the agitation.
Hooda said conflicting statements made by BJP leaders like Kurukshetra MP Rajkumar Saini and Union minister Birender Singh were to be blamed for the situation. “The vitriolic denunciation of Jats by the Kurukshetra MP and the silence of the BJP leadership have sent wrong signals to the public,” he said.
The former CM said while it was for the state government to find a way to resolve the issue, it cannot be done without a dialogue culminating into a decision.
“The ball is in their court. The special backward class quota granted to Jats and four other castes by the Congress government was a decision acceptable to all. We also faced hostile situations during our rule but we spoke to the agitators and took a call,” Hooda said.