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Haryana CM’s video kicks up a controversy

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.   | Photo Credit: Akhilesh Kumar

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal on Sunday courted a fresh controversy over his advice to the party cadre for tit-for-tat action against the farmers opposing the farm laws in Haryana and not mind spending a few months in jails.

Also Read: Farm unions claim two protesting farmers killed after allegedly run over by car in Union Minister’s convoy

In over a one-minute-long video going viral on social media platforms, Mr. Lal, in an interaction with the party cadres, has been seen advising them to raise groups of 500-700 volunteers armed with lathis in each district of north and west Haryana and retaliate against the protesting farmers. He said the problem of the protests did not exist much in south Haryana. He also exhorted the cadre to promote new farmer unions.

“Tit-for-Tat. Pick up the lathis,” chuckled Mr. Lal, amid faint laughter from the audience.

Also Read: Talks on removing farmers’ blockades stalled, Haryana tells SC

He advised the party cadre not to worry about the bail if they decided to retaliate. “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,” said Mr. Lal, interacting with the State kisan morcha leaders of the party, amid applause.

State Congress chief Kumari Selja slammed the Chief Minister for “publicly provoking people against the agitating farmers and endorsing violence”. “If this is unedited video, is this the true face, character and plan of the Bharatiya Janata Party?” she asked in a tweet.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha demanded that the Chief Minister must resign and apologise. “It is clear where officials like Ayush Sinha get their impunity from. While the farmers’ movement has explicitly made peace and non-violence as its values, it is clear that the government is acting with murderous intent on its own citizens,” it said.

Mr. Lal’s media advisor Amit Arya in a statement claimed that only a portion of the video was being circulated to create a wrong impression. Mr. Arya said the Chief Minister, in an internal party meeting, had exhorted the cadres to strongly oppose the wrong acting with discipline. He had advised the party men not to lose cool in over enthusiasm, said the statement.

State BJP spokesperson Raman Malik said: “We have always shown restraint even when these hooligans have come into our functions and acted with full violence. The law of the land has always maintained self-defence as a legitimate reaction of the grieved. We will not do any act of violence until required for self-defence.”


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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 10:28:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/row-over-haryana-cm-advice-to-cadre-for-tit-for-tat-action-against-farmers/article36810002.ece

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