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Haryana CM stokes row | Manohar Lal Khattar Exhorts BJP Cadre To 'pick Up Sticks' Against Protesting Farmers

Stoking a row, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar exhorted the BJP cadre to form groups and retaliate violently to farmers protesting against the farm laws. 

Manohar Lal Khattar, farmers

Image: PTI


Stoking a row on Sunday, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar exhorted the BJP cadre to form groups and retaliate violently to farmers protesting against the farm laws. He was addressing the members of the state unit of the BJP Kisan Morcha who had come to his residence to thank him for advancing the paddy procurement. Moreover, he advised them not to worry about the consequences of taking the law into their hands citing that they will emerge as bigger leaders once they are eventually released from jail. 

Manohar Lal Khattar remarked, "We have to encourage new farmer organizations. The problem (farm protests) does not exist to that extent in south Haryana. Raise volunteer groups of 500, 700, or 1000 farmers in each district of north and west Haryana. Tit for tat. Pick up sticks."

“If you stay inside [in jail] for a few months, you will learn more than what you learn at these meetings. You will emerge as a big leader. Your name will go down in history," he added. Taking umbrage at these remarks, Congress general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala contended that the rule of law and the Constitution cannot operate in the state if the CM openly talks about spreading violence. Alleging that BJP's "anti-farmer conspiracy" has been exposed, he claimed that PM Modi and JP Nadda also endorsed Khattar's point of view. 

The impasse over farm laws

The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 aims at freeing the farmers from the constraints of the state Agriculture Produce Market Committees whereby they would be able to sell their produce anywhere. Meanwhile, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 protects and empowers farmers to engage with processors, wholesalers, large retailers, exporters for farm services. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 specifies that the supply of foodstuffs including cereals, pulses, potatoes, edible oilseeds, and oils shall be regulated only under exceptional circumstances.

At present, the talks between the Union government and the farmers' unions over the three farm laws have come to a standstill. While the Supreme Court has stayed the implementation of the farm laws, a committee appointed by the apex court submitted its report pertaining to the legislation in a sealed cover on March 19. So far, 6 states- Punjab, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, West Bengal and Delhi have passed a resolution in their respective assemblies demanding the withdrawal of the farm laws.

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