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Farmers’ tractor rally | Rahul Gandhi says violence not a solution to any problem

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. File   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

As farmers’ tractor rally turned violent in Delhi on Tuesday, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said violence is not a solution to any issue and urged the Union government to withdraw the three farm laws.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said the violent protests would ‘negate the goodwill’ that the farmers had so far enjoyed with their peaceful protests and appealed to the ‘genuine farmers’ to vacate Delhi and return to the borders.

In an official statement, the Congress said the confrontation between farmers and the government had been on for 61 days and it was not ‘healthy’ for democracy.

Congress communication chief Randeep Surjewala said, “Prime Minister, Narendra Modi will have to leave ‘rajhath’ [royal stubborness] and walk on the path of ‘rajdharma’ (national duty). This is the true message of the 72nd Republic Day. All three anti-farming black laws have to be withdrawn without any delay,”.

A few hours after violence erupted on the capital’s roads, Mr. Gandhi tweeted, “Violence is not a solution to any problem. If anyone is injured, the damage gets done to the country. In the interest of the nation, the farm laws should be taken back”.

Echoing him, Captain Amarinder tweeted,“Shocking scenes in Delhi. The violence by some elements is unacceptable. It will negate goodwill generated by peacefully protesting farmers.”

He added, “Kisan leaders have disassociated themselves and suspended #TractorRally. I urge all genuine farmers to vacate Delhi and return to borders”.

Though the Congress had unequivocally endorsed the tractor rally, party leaders took a nuanced position after violence erupted and partially blamed the Central government.

Party leader and Lok Sabha member Manish Tewari said, “What happened today in Delhi is most unfortunate & deserves to be condemned by all right thinking people. Violence achieves nothing. However NDA/BJP Govt is squarely responsible for both, failing to agree to legitimate demands of farmers and maintaining Law and order on Republic Day”.

Most unfortunate: Tharoor

Posting a video of a protester trying to hoist a religious flag [Nisan Saheb] at one place within the Red Fort, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said, “Most unfortunate. I have supported the farmers’ protests from the start but I cannot condone lawlessness. And on #RepublicDay no flag but the sacred tiranga should fly aloft the Red Fort”.

Former Law Minister Salman Khurshid, in a tweet, said the government must realise that the protests were no longer about the minimum support price (MSP) or contract farming. “Republic Day violence and unrest deeply saddening. But govt must understand the deep sense of betrayal amongst farmers. Matter has travelled beyond MSP and contract farming to fundamentals of democracy. Yesterday and Today bode ill for Tomorrow,” he cautioned.

Mr. Surjewala said, “Non-violence and satyagraha have been the biggest successes of this farmer-labor movement”. He demanded the repeal of the three farm laws.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 10:14:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/farmers-tractor-rally-rahul-gandhi-says-violence-not-a-solution-to-any-problem/article33669430.ece

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