Police lathicharge on farmers was wrong: Haryana BJP chief

Om Prakash Dhankar says the lathicharge was wrong, but farmers have gone past the agenda of agitation. It has become purely political and least bothered about farmer welfare
Haryana agriculture minister Om Prakash Dhankar said the government was functioning with full restraint and its priority was to ensure Karnal-like incidents didn’t recur. (HT Photo)
Haryana agriculture minister Om Prakash Dhankar said the government was functioning with full restraint and its priority was to ensure Karnal-like incidents didn’t recur. (HT Photo)
Published on Sep 14, 2021 02:30 AM IST
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ByHT Correspondent, Chandigarh

Haryana Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Om Prakash Dhankar on Monday said the police lathicharge on the protesting farmers in Karnal on August 28 should not have taken place.

“It was wrong,” Dhankar said in a news conference, adding that he had conveyed this to chief minister Khattar and asked to hold an inquiry into the police action.

The state BJP chief applauded the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP-JJP coalition government for tackling the farmers’ agitation with “huge restraint and decorum”, while reiterating that the government was functioning with full restraint and its priority was to ensure Karnal-like incidents didn’t recur.

“This decorum must also become the part and parcel of those protesting...Because others also have the right to hold their programmes and this decorum must be maintained by all,” Dhankar said, regretting that the ongoing farmers stir had become “purely a political protest”.

The politics, he said, had hijacked the farmers’ agitation, which now had nothing to do with the welfare of the cultivators. He said even though the agitation had moved beyond its real issues, the Union government was still open to dialogue on all outstanding issues.

“But they have gone past the agenda of agitation. It has become purely political and least bothered about the welfare of farmers,” Dhankar said.

Responding to a question, the BJP chief said it was equally wrong to say the agitation had the backing of all farmers of Haryana. There were, he said, 19 lakh families of cultivators in Haryana and that only one farmers’ organisation was unhappy with the government. One or two odd farmer unions’ agitation cannot be dubbed as the protest of the entire farming community, he said.

Asking the opposition Haryana Congress leaders to persuade the Congress government in Punjab to give compensation to farmers and procure crops on the lines of Haryana, Dhankar dared the party to replicate Haryana’s procurement model in Punjab and Rajasthan.

He said Haryana will procure bajra at 2,250 and asked the Congress to procure it in Rajasthan also. He said it was after four years that Punjab hiked sugarcane price. “Yahan gian dene ko bade chatur ho, vahan daam kayun nahi dete (they are very clever in giving sermons here, but why don’t they give money to the farmers in neighbouring states),” he quipped.

BJP plans events to celebrate PM’s 71st birthday

Haryana BJP chief OP Dhankar said the party will launch a 20-day long Sewa Aur Samarpan campaign in the state from September 17, coinciding with the 71th birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

During this campaign, concluding on October 7, the BJP plans to hold 71 blood donation camps, seminars on 71 big ticket policies and programmes of the Centre and plantation of 71,000 saplings.

The party also plans to greet the prime minister by dispatching 20 lakh letters from people who will pen their views independently about the Union government’s policies they like the most.

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Monday, November 29, 2021