Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has blamed Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Gurnam Singh Charuni for instigating violence at a ‘kisan mahapanchayat’ programme in Karnal on Sunday. Addressing a press conference hours after protesting farmers vandalised the venue where Khattar was scheduled to speak, the chief minister said the BKU chief also said that Congress and Communist parties had a major role behind the agitations.
“If I have to hold someone responsible for this, then a video of Gurnam Singh Charuni (Bharatiya Kisan Union chief) has been circulating since day before yesterday wherein he had tried to instigate people. They are getting exposed. I think Congress and Communist parties have a major role behind these agitations,” Khattar told reporters.
Notably, on January 6, the BKU (Charuni) had threatened that they would oppose the ‘kisan mahapanchayat’ programme. A purported video of Haryana BKU chief Gurnam Singh Charuni making an appeal to end the arrogance of the CM by not allowing him to address the mahapanchayat circulated on social media.
Khattar said Sunday’s incident gave people a bigger message than what we had intended to give. “Our nation has a strong democracy where everyone has freedom of expression. We never stopped statements of these alleged farmers & leaders. Their agitation is going on. Despite COVID, we made arrangements for them. It’s not right to obstruct anyone who wants to speak. I don’t think people will tolerate violation of provisions given by Dr BR Ambedkar. Congress had attempted to finish democracy in 1975. At that time people identified their disgusting work & threw them out of power,” he said.
The farmers disrupted the ‘kisan mahapanchayat’ programme by damaging the stage and breaking chairs, tables and flower pots at the venue.
In the melee, stones were also pelted as police personnel ran for cover.
Angry farmers, mainly comprising youths, damaged the stage, tent and speakers at the venue. They also tore BJP hoardings and uprooted banners in the presence of policemen.