Instead of Karnal prog, Khattar should convince Centre to repeal farm laws: Hooda

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Chandigarh, Jan 11 (PTI) Senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Monday asked Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to convince the Centre to repeal the new farm laws instead of proposing to hold programmes like in Karnal.

Agitating farmers had on Sunday ransacked the venue of the 'kisan mahapanchayat' programme at Kaimla village in Karnal, where Khattar was to address the gathering to highlight the 'benefits' of the three contentious central agriculture laws.

The Haryana Police had used water cannons and lobbed teargas shells to prevent the farmers from marching towards Kaimla village.

The farmers, however, managed to reach the venue and damage a makeshift helipad where Khattar's chopper was to land despite elaborate security arrangements made by police.

“Rather than holding such sabha (mahapanchayat in Karnal), he (Khattar) should go to Delhi and convince the central government, and tell them that these laws are not in farmers' interest,” Hooda told reporters here.

The former CM also asked the BJP-led state government to avoid any type of confrontation with the farmers who are agitating against the farm laws.

“In politics, there is no place for arrogance. The government should avoid confrontation and also not say anything which can provoke people,” he said.

Hooda said the ongoing farmers' protest against the laws is peaceful.

Reacting to Khattar's statement that the government would not repeal the farm laws, the Congress leader said the Haryana chief minister should not make such statements when talks are going on between the Centre and farmer leaders to resolve the issue.

On Khattar's accusation that the Congress and communists were behind the protest, Hooda hit back, “We did not bring these farm laws.' To a question on INLD MLA Abhay Singh Chautala's letter to the Haryana Assembly speaker for withdrawing the farm laws, the former CM said the Congress will bring a no-confidence motion against the BJP-JJP government in the state.

“If he (Chautala) resigns, he will be helping the government,” he added.

Chautala on Monday wrote to the Haryana Assembly Speaker, saying if the Centre does not repeal its three farm laws by January 26, then his letter may be considered as resignation as an MLA from the Vidhan Sabha.