The Congress party whose leaders had to face the ire of Jat quota stir victims, on Monday accused the BJP government of “sponsoring” the violence. It demanded dissolution of Haryana Vidhan Sabha and imposition of President’s rule in the state.
The Congress Legislature Party passed a resolution at a meeting, the first after the quota stir, here to make these demands. The Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee, which also met subsequently, adopted the resolution. AICC general secretary and in-charge of party’s Haryana affairs Shakeel Ahmad, who was present at both meetings, told reporters that the state machinery had completely failed to tackle the situation, while inflammatory statements given by some leaders of the ruling BJP fuelled the stir.
Demand for judicial probe
The Congress also demanded a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court into the quota violence, besides registration of cases against BJP and INLD leaders whose provocative statements incited the violence. Ahmad, who was accompanied by Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar, CLP leader Kiran Choudhry and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, even played a video clip purportedly showing BJP MLA from Rewari Randhir Kapriwas administering a divisive pledge to a gathering.
Ahmad also accused finance minister Capt Abhimanyu and Indian National Students Organisation leader Pradeep Deswal of provocative remarks. Choudhry said the CLP also decided to raise the quota agitation violence issue in the ensuing budget session. All Congress MLAs, except Kaithal MLA Randeep Singh Surjewala and Tigaon MLA Lalit Nagar, attended the CLP meeting in which the party drew its strategy for the forthcoming budget session.
The two meetings saw MLAs and other leaders of the faction-ridden Congress taking digs, not all of them subtle, at each other.
Former education minister Geeta Bhukkal griped about the visit of some party leaders to her area, which was the worst affected by the agitation, without her knowledge. Former minister Capt Ajay Yadav took potshots at BB Batra, ex-MLA from Rohtak, sarcastically asking him why he (Batra) could not protect Rohtak city and Punjabis, whom he represented, from the rioters.
Panipat leader Bijender Singh also joined in, telling Batra that unlike him, they managed to avert violence in their respective areas. When Batra retorted that the violence was not the handiwork of locals, Yadav rejected the claim.
During the HPCC meeting, Yadav said that Virender, who is facing sedition charges in the audio-clip case, should surrender before the police.
He said that instead of touching OBC quota, the party should demand reservation on the basis of economic status irrespective of the caste.
On Congress party’s stand on Hooda’s aide Virender, Ahmad said that he (Virender) had already given his reply to a show-cause notice served on him by the HPCC president and the matter had been forwarded to the disciplinary committee of the AICC for further action.
He brushed aside quesries on objections raised by former HPCC chief Phool Chand Mullana on the matter.