CHANDIGARH: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday said the protesting farmers should not remain adamant on the repeal of the new central agriculture laws, adding that making it a precondition for talks with the government does not serve any purpose. He said that farmers who are also called “annadata” of the country certainly hold a prominent place in society. But the word farmer has been tarnished due to a few unfortunate incidents.
The Haryana CM also claimed that only a “handful of people” were opposing the farm laws and that “common farmers are happy”. “Those spearheading the agitation are in reality not farmers. Real farmers have no objection with the farm laws, they are happy,” he said. Khattar further alleged that those opposing the three farm laws are only doing so because of political reasons.
“Farmer is a pure word but some sad incidents have happened during this movement, due to which, this word is getting maligned. The alleged sexual abuse of a woman from West Bengal at the Tikri border last month has prompted people to raise questions,” he said.
Khattar also referred to the alleged targeting of the BJP-JJP leaders in the state over the farm laws. “We are exercising restraint. And what are they (those spearheading the stir) saying is that the ministers, MLAs, CM, deputy CM can’t go to attend public functions. After all, it is the responsibility of those running the government, to go among the people and listen to them,” Khattar said.
‘Matter of grave concern’
The Haryana chief minister also said that many tragic incidents, from sexual assaults to murders to blocking of roads, being reported from the farmers’ protest sites are a matter of grave concern