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CM Khattar says won’t step down, Yogi defends his govt amid calls for resignation

Haryana chief minister is facing the heat over the violence that erupted following the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Yogi Adityanath’s administration in Uttar Pradesh is being blamed for negligence in the death of 60 kids in a government hospital in Gorakhpur.

india Updated: Aug 31, 2017 00:34 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Delhi/Lucknow
Manohar Lal Khattar,Yogi Adityanath,Dera Sacha Sauda
A member of the security forces reacts during violence in Panchkula on August 25.(REUTERS)

The chief ministers of BJP-ruled Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have dug in their heels in the face of mounting criticism of their handling of recent crises in their states. Manohar Lal Khattar and Yogi Adityanath remain unfazed in the face of loud calls from the opposition parties for their resignation.

Khattar on Wednesday ruled out his resignation, saying his government had tackled the Dera Sacha Sauda violence with “restraint”, and he was satisfied. He made this remark after submitting a report on the incident to BJP chief Amit Shah in Delhi.

In Lucknow, Adityanath, whose administration has been blamed for negligence in the death of 60 kids in a government hospital that ran out of oxygen supply because suppliers were not paid on time, said people had developed a habit of blaming the government for everything. He was speaking in the context of the stray cattle menace while addressing an event on Startup India. “If there are stray animals, it is not the government’s duty to catch it and feed it,” he said.

In the same vein, he remarked that the day was not far when parents will start leaving their children above two years of age with the government and ask the government to feed them. Adityanath’s statement comes a day after villagers in Lakhimpur Kheri had herded stray cattle into a school compound and locked it up. They were agitated over animals damaging their crops.

Defending his government’s action in the run-up to the sentencing of Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, Khattar told mediapersons in Delhi there was no question of his resigning on the issue.

“Anybody can say anything... We are satisfied with our work. Whatever we did was right. There will be no change. We acted with restraint. We achieved our aim,” Khattar said.

Thirty-six people were killed in police firing after thousands of supporters went on a rampage following his conviction by a CBI court on rape charges. Khattar said that had something happened ahead of Ram Rahim’s appearance before the court, he might have used that as a pretext for not showing up.

As for the Dera’s support to the BJP, the CM countered, “There is never a condition for such support that somebody breaks the law. Nobody is above the law.”

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 23:46 IST