BJP national general secretary and Uttarakhand unit in-charge Dushyant Kumar Gautam (centre) at a press conference in Dehradun on Sunday.(Kalyan Das/HT PHOTO)
BJP national general secretary and Uttarakhand unit in-charge Dushyant Kumar Gautam (centre) at a press conference in Dehradun on Sunday.(Kalyan Das/HT PHOTO)

Farmers’ protest hijacked by extremists, Cong wants to incite riots: BJP leader

BJP national general secretary and Uttarakhand state unit in-charge Dushyant Kumar Gautam said law enforcement agencies will soon arrest those who raised pro-Khaslistan and pro-Pakistan slogans at farmers’ protests.
By Kalyan Das | Hindustan Times, Dehradun
UPDATED ON NOV 29, 2020 05:46 PM IST

BJP national general secretary and Uttarakhand state unit in-charge Dushyant Kumar Gautam on Sunday alleged that the farmers’ protest has been hijacked by extremist elements and claimed that pro-Khalistan and pro-Pakistan slogans were proof of it.

He made the claims while addressing media persons in Dehradun during his first visit to Uttarakhand after being appointed the state’s unit in-charge along with newly appointed state unit co- in-charge Rekha Verma.

“The agricultural laws are for the whole country, but why are the protests only in Punjab? Slogans of Khalistan Zindabad and Pakistan Zindabad have been raised by people in the protests. How can it be called a protest then?” said Gautam.

“Extremist elements have hijacked the protest and are raising slogans for those who are anti-national forces.”

Asked where the pro-Khalistan and pro-Pakistan slogans were raised, he said, “It can be seen in the videos making rounds on social media.”

Gautam also said that the law enforcement agencies will soon arrest those raising such slogans. “It will happen at an appropriate time after a thorough investigation.”

He also attacked Congress and accused it of instigating the farmers’ protest to “incite riots.”

“There are Congress workers in the protest and not farmers. They are doing so to incite riots as it is the party that evolved after the 1947 riots and then made its government after the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Now also it wants to do the same as it feeds on riots,” said Gautam.

He then hailed the new farm laws saying that they are for the development of the farmers.

“The laws are to increase their income and free them from the clutches of middlemen. We will never go against the farmers as they are our brothers. It was our government which solved the issue of urea supply and procured maximum produce at MSP in Punjab,” said Gautam.

The Congress has refuted Gautam’s allegations and accused the BJP of “painting any protest against it with anti-national or terrorism colours.”

“Whenever there is a mass protest against their government, they call the protestors anti-national, terrorists or Naxals. They have done the same in this farmers’ protest also by calling the farmers from Punjab as Khalistani terrorists which is shameful,” said Suryakant Dhasmana, Congress vice-president in Uttarakhand.

He said, “When our brothers from Punjab fight for the country in the army and lay down their lives, the BJP hails them as martyrs and when they fight for their own rights, they call them terrorists. How is this justifiable?”

Dhasmana also rubbished Gautam’s charges that the Congress is involved in the protests.

“Congress is supporting the protesting farmers but not involved in it. There is not a single flag of Congress among the protestors. It is the farmers who are raising their voice against the black agricultural laws which they never asked for.”

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