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Akali Dal, Congress, AAP criticise use of force on farmers by BJP government in Haryana

Police personnel use water canons on farmers to stop them from crossing the Punjab-Haryana border during 'Delhi Chalo' protest march against the new farm laws, near Ambala, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Amid use of tear gas and water canons by the Haryana police against farmers, who were participating in the “Delhi Chalo” march against the Centre’s agriculture laws, the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress party on Thursday criticised the BJP-led governments in Haryana and the Centre.

Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal said the water cannon would not douse the flames of democratic protest against injustice, while Congress Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa termed the act as that against the spirit of democracy.

Mr. Badal said the Central government is treating Punjab as if it were not a part of the country. “Are we not a part of India? Are farmers, traders and other common Punjabis not Indians?”

Referring to the growing repressive and trends in the country in the recent times, Mr. Badal said, “They are ruling the country as if it were a dictatorship. It’s a very sad day for the country when the Constitution was openly flouted by those who were tasked with protecting and implementing the Constitution in letter and spirit,” said Mr. Badal at a press conference in Amritsar.

Mr. Badal said Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal had acted under the instructions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deal with farmers exactly as one would deal with an enemy of the nation.

Mr. Bajwa in a statement said the farmers had decided to carry out their constitutional rights by going to Delhi with the hope of having the Central government to listen to their concerns. “By attempting to stop Indians from using their constitutional rights on Constitution Day is a cruel joke. The government of Haryana and the Centre have acted in a manner that is against the spirit of democracy,” he said.

Aam Aadmi Party state president and Lok Sabha MP Bhagwant Mann said, “Our Constitution guarantees us the right to protest in a democratic manner. It is a matter of grave concern that the BJP government has crossed all limits of constitutional propriety by denying the farmers their legitimate right to hold protests against the draconian Central agriculture marketing laws.”

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 10:22:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sad-cong-aap-criticise-use-of-force-on-farmers-by-bjp-govt-in-haryana/article33186775.ece

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