Two BJP MPs criticise Haryana over handling of farmers' protest against ordinances, say incident was 'painful'
The MPs, who are part of a three-member panel constituted by state BJP president OP Dhankar to pacify protesters, said 'farmers have equal rights to raise their voices'
Chandigarh: Two ruling BJP MPs Dharambir Singh and Brijendra Singh have condemned the way the recent farmers' stir at Pipli in Kurukshetra was handled by authorities and described the incident as "painful".
Their statements after ally Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) and Opposition parties targeted the Manohar Lal Khattar government over the issue.
The two MPs, who are part of a three-member panel constituted by state BJP president OP Dhankar on Friday to pacify farmers and hold talks, said farmers have equal rights to raise their voices.
While Dharambir, the MP from Bhiwani-Mahendragarh, on Friday said the action of resorting to lathicharge on farmers without listening to their voices is "condemnable", Hisar MP Brijendra said the incident was "painful".
The BJP's coalition partner JJP also condemned the handling of the situation in Pipli.
In a tweet after the incident, JJP leader Digvijay Chautala said the incident of lathicharge on farmers is condemnable.
"We consider the pain of farmers as of ours. (Thursday's) Today's episode should be inquired. It's a painful incident which should not have occurred," Chautala said.
Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Singh Chautala termed the lathicharge on farmers as "unfortunate" and said "instead of talking to farmers, the BJP government was raining lathis on peasants".
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) and other farmer organisations had on Thursday blocked the national highway at Pipli to protest the Centre's three farm ordinances, which they claimed were "anti-farmers".
The BJP MPs, whose constituencies are dominated by the farming community, came out in support of the peasants.
"The episode which happened during the farmers' demonstration in Kurukshetra is painful. Farmers have equal rights to raise their demands," Brijendra Singh, son of former Union minister Birender Singh, tweeted on Friday evening.
He said he condemns the attempt to justify the lathicharge that it was done as there were violations of restrictions imposed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It is hoped that an inquiry will be held and the government will talk to the farmers and remove their doubts soon," he added.
Dharambir Singh said, "...in a democratic country, the action of resorting to lathicharge on farmers without listening to their voices is condemnable."
He said it was the duty of the government to talk to farmers' leaders to resolve the problem.
However, Haryana home minister Anil Vij has claimed that no lathicharge took place and there was no medico-legal report of anybody receiving injuries.
He said that no orders were passed to use force on farmers and police only wanted that roads should not be blocked when the coronavirus pandemic was at its peak and ambulances were moving with patients.
Meanwhile, Dhankar constituted a panel, which also comprises Kurukshetra MP Nayab Singh Saini. The panel will hold a dialogue with farmers to resolve the issue.
To allay fears of farmers, BJP leaders have maintained that minimum support price (MSP) mechanism will continue and appealed to peasants not to believe those trying to spread falsehood in this regard.
Brijendra, meanwhile, welcomed the forming of the committee by Dhankar.
"The committee formed to talk to farmers on farmers' issues is a meaningful step towards a solution through dialogue and shows the sentiments of the party towards the peasantry. As a member of the committee, I will try to resolve the doubts in the minds of the farming community through discussions," he said.
However, BKU leader Gurnam Singh has rejected the constitution of the committee by Dhankar, saying the central government should first withdraw the three farm ordinances.
Farmers in the state are demanding a rollback of the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance; and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, promulgated by the Centre.
Congress leaders on Friday visited Pipli to show solidarity with farmers and attacked the BJP-JJP government, saying that the voice of farmers cannot be muzzled and they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them.
State Congress chief Kumari Sellja said party workers will hold district-level ''dharnas'' throughout the state on September 21 to protest the three farm ordinances.
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