The Manohar Lal Khattar-led Haryana government has failed to bring the situation of the protest under control even after seven days. The Haryana govt fumbled and floundered on many respects
BJP MP from Kurukshetra Raj Kumar Saini’s intemperate outburst and retorts of Jat leaders were clear signals, but the intelligence set-up failed to read them. When trouble broke, the government seemed clueless about its gravity, stir leaders and shifting trouble spots.
Khattar and his team were slow to reach. The first was reaction to let things drift, but the situation worsened faster than they could image. Before the government tried to get its act together, it was out of control, quickly turning into a caste war with hoodlums running riot.
Watch | How people of Haryana suffered during Jat quota agitation
Confusing signals from the ruling party, coupled with lack political will, fuelled the stir. BJP Jat leaders took a backseat, leaving the CM, a first-time MLA, to grapple with his first major political challenge. They got active only after a nudge from the central leadership.
Police response was slow and sluggish. As Jat protesters run amok, they were missing from the scene or acted as mute spectators. Only advice senior officers gave was to show restraint. When the state sought army help, a flummoxed cabinet secretary asked what action police had taken. And, the state brass was speechless.
The state authorities kept stumbling, making an offer to double the quota for economically backward classes in a hurry without adequate consultations with its own Jat leaders or influential voices in the community.
The offer was rebuffed by the protesters. Then, the special backward class reservation offer was also vague and did not give the right message.