a large group farmers camp outside the mini secretariat in Karnal – Constituency represented by Prime Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Haryana Vidhan Sabha. They are adamant in their demand to take action against IAS officer Ayush Sinha, who ordered police to fine a group of protesting farmers last month. VARINDER BHATIA explains what the scenario means for the BJP-JJP alliance government in Haryana and especially for CM Khattar.
How harmful is the dharna of farmers in CM’s constituency?
Despite the police and state government taking all precautions – Chapter 144 Implementing CrPC, turn off mobile internet services, deployed the Rapid Action Force and set up a series of checkpoints and nakas – farmers barbecued to reach the district headquarters and surrounded the mini-secretariat. A senior BJP leader, who asked not to be named, told The Indian Express: “It’s a huge embarrassment for the state government. How can CM’s own constituency be ransom? It shows that the state has lost control. The state is managed cautiously. This species should be under command and control in all situations. It looks like the government is now backing down. It is the government’s job, the political process, to engage in dialogue, to find ways to appease the agitators. However, nothing like that seems to be happening here. Bureaucrats from the government are negotiating with the farmers. It should have been done by senior ministers, lawmakers or MLAs. But they don’t have the face to go there because they give names to the farmers,” he said.
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Another senior BJP leader said, “Such a situation is not only chaotic for the functioning of the government, but also extremely damaging for the party that won with great authority for the first time, it failed to hold the numbers in the second election and had to come to power. enter alliance. The government should not and should not disturb ordinary people. We learned that the people gave food to the farmers who camped outside the mini secretariat. It is extremely unfortunate for both the CM and the state government,” he said.
Another senior BJP leader said, “Those who haphazardly address the ongoing farmer’s agitation are only deceiving themselves. The farmer is a broad-hearted person. If you are happy, he will give what he wants, but he will not tolerate any power exerted on him”.
Why do farmers camp in Karnal?
It all happened on August 28 as farmers were attacked in a police lathi charge at Bastara tolls on the national highway in Karnal as they tried to move towards Karnal city where BJP leaders including CM Manohar Lal Khattar held a meeting to discuss upcoming panchayat polls. started. . In another police naka, IAS officer Ayush SinhaKarnal, who was later appointed as a subdivision magistrate, was caught on tape asking police personnel to “smash their heads” on those who had passed the blockade. The officer later claimed that “the video clip had been tampered with” and that “only a select portion of his briefing to police personnel had gone viral”. After police intervention, a farmer Sushil Kajal died in his home. Farmers claim he died from assault injuries. Later, the farmers started demanding the dismissal of the IAS officer, criminal case against him and other police officers responsible for the lathicharge, 25 lakh financial compensation to Sushil Kajal’s relative and government job and Rs 2 lakh each for those who suffered injuries. police lathicharge. They announced that they would be mini-secretaries in Karnal if their demands were not met, and they finally did.
How does it affect Prime Minister Manohar Lal Khattar?
Karnal, the constituency of the CM, is vital in state politics. This isn’t the first time the police have attacked farmers in Karnal. Earlier, in January of this year, the farmers did not allow Khattar’s helicopter to land in the village of Kaymla. Sensing trouble, Khattar had to cancel his planned visit to the village and landed elsewhere instead. Several BJP MLAs, along with state BJP chief Om Prakash Dhankar, Education Minister Kanwar Pal and Sports Minister Sandeep Singh, were ejected from the venue under heavy police protection. Farmers damaged the helipad and destroyed the venue, clashing with the police. Many farmers were injured in the incident. Also in May, farmers trying to disrupt Khattar’s event in Hisar, where he inaugurated the Covid-19 facility at OP Jindal School, were attacked by the police. In December 2020, Khattar’s convoy was attacked by a group of farmers in Ambala. The August 28 Bastara box office incident is the fourth in which farmers have been attacked while trying to disrupt the events of Khattar. Anger among farmers is boiling against the prime minister, although the state government has made several statements claiming it is in the interests and welfare of the farmers.
How does the opposition win with such events?
The main opposition Indian National Congress is doing its best to take advantage of the ongoing situation. Led by former prime minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Congress strongly criticizes the BJP-JJP distribution in Haryana over the agitation of farmers. It declared full support for farmers and agitation against the three central agricultural laws. BJP and JJP have also accused Congress of inciting farmers to protests, which results in the opposition party’s favour. India’s National Lok Dal (INLD), on the other hand, is gaining traction in rural areas, particularly with party leader Om Prakash Chautala, even though it has left no presence in the Vidhan Sabha after its sole MLA, Abhay Chautala, stepped down to support farmers. now extensively tours the state and campaigns against the state government. INLD is actually looking to make a comeback with upcoming panchayat polls. “I was saying that negotiations were the only solution to move forward. The CM and state government should act as a representative of the farmers and address their legitimate demands with the union government. But they are busy attacking the farmers and stifling their voices. Not just farmers, people from all walks of life have lost faith in this government,” says Hooda.