IMAGE: VD Sharma BJP and Abbas Hafeez Twitter
A barrage of reactions have resulted from the BJP and Congress soon after the former released the video of senior Congress leader and Ex-CM of Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath directing the Congress workers to 'set things on fire' (Aag Laga Do). The BJP on Friday released a 32 seconds clip of Kamal Nath in which he could be seen saying 'Set fire' thrice in a video conference with the Congress workers while discussing the situation of farmers in relation to the farmers' protest. The BJP has claimed on the basis of the video that Congress deliberately wants to instigate the farmers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Claiming the 30-second clip as a distorted video, Youth Congress Leader Abbas Hafeez said Congress will file a police complaint in Madhya Pradesh and also in Delhi.
"BJP is releasing distorted videos one after the other to hide its own failure. The context of the entire conversation changes if you just cut 30 seconds out of the entire conversation. You cannot judge a long video on the basis of 30 seconds. You do not know in what context he (Kamal Nath) was speaking. We will file a police complaint. They have been charged on the toolkit also. They are doing this just to save their face as the public is angry with the BJP," Abbas Hafeez said.
BJP National Spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia alleged Kamal Nath must have said it under the instructions of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and asked the senior leaders to come clean on it. He also added that it is "hideous" of an ex-Chief Minister to make such remarks.
"What Kamal Nath is doing, is definitely under the instructions of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and this is the mindset of Congress. For the lust of power, they are even willing to burn the country and inciting people. We will oppose such hideous remarks from an ex-chief minister of the state and law will take its course. Such act shouldn't and will not go unpunished."
BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya has called it a planned attempt of Congress to create instability in the country. He said, "It is a part of the toolkit through which they tried to malign the Government. Congress wants that in some way there should be unrest and chaos in the country. I am not surprised that a senior leader of Congress who has been a former Union Minister is speaking in this manner. It is all a part of the planned conspiracy of Congress."
Pankaj Sharma, media advisor of Kamal Nath has lashed out at BJP saying that the party has no wisdom to understand the idioms and phrases used in Hindi. He said one cannot take the literal meaning of the Hindi phrase Aag Laga Do as to literally set things on fire.
"By Aag Laga Do, Kamal Nath meant to say it is the time to raise the voice that the Government is not doing anything for the farmers. You shouldn't take it literally. Aag Laga Do in this context is to raise the issue," Pankaj Sharma opined.
Congress worker: Kisano ke beech aa rahi hai sir - They are coming between us and the farmers.
Kamal Nath: Tum logo ko aag lagani hai. Maine kaha tha yeh aag lagane ka mauka hai aur yeh vyakti kisano ke sath nyay ho yeh toh keh hi raha hai, dusra kaam hai aag lagao ki sarkar aisa kar rahi hai falana kar rahi hai. Kharidi jo kari hai inhone Haryana Punjab se kari hai, pichle saal Madhya Pradesh number 1 tha kharidi me, is saal Madhya Pradesh fisal gaya
(You to set fire. I had said this is an opportune time to set fire and this person is saying there should be justice to farmers, but the second task is to set fire that the government is not acting in favour of farmers. Whatever the government has bought (farm produce) is from Haryana and Punjab. Last year Madhya Pradesh was number 1, but now it is lacking behind.)
The statements by Kamal Nath in the purported video seem like directions to the Congress members to instigate the people in the backdrop of farmers' protest against the three agrarian laws. However, it remains significant to note the timing of the directions of incitement when the country is grappling with the devastating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the threat of the third wave looms large on the country. Moreover, the country already witnessed violence on Republic Day during the farmers' tractor parade which turned violent, causing widespread chaos on Republic Day.
The farmers' protests have recently witnessed death due to COVID-19 as the farmers refuse to call off their protests despite the nation fighting the COVID-19 crisis. Thousands of farmers have been protesting for nearly six months demanding a rollback of the three farm laws, despite the Centre staying the implementation of the farm laws for 18 months and giving repeated assurances on the continuance of the MSP mechanism. The Centre has also accommodated several other demands of farmers however, the protestors have been reluctant with their demand of repeal of the three new farm laws. The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of the protesting farmers which is at the helm of the protests has called for observing May 26 a "Black Day" as the protests complete six months.
Several experts have claimed the protests have been highjacked by political parties attempting to gain political mileage out of the protests. Several opposition parties including the Congress rallied in support of farmers even when the Congress had earlier favoured the farm laws and had also mentioned in their election manifesto about implementing the reforms if elected to power. The farmers' protests also led to the tractor rally on Republic Day leading the widespread violence in the national capital, injuring over 500 police personnel and breaching of Red Fort premises and hoisting religious flags on its ramparts.