Chandigarh, Oct 2 (PTI) A day after Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s tractor rally won’t be allowed to enter the state, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on Friday hit back, asking if a 'jungle raj' is prevailing there.
Reacting sharply to the home minister's remarks, Amarinder Singh said it is a “futile move” to stifle the voice of an angry nation.
He warned that such dictatorial steps would only strengthen the resolve of the Congress to fight for the rights of farmers.
“Is there a jungle raj in Haryana that you can stop anyone, least of all a duly elected leader of a national political party, from entering the state or from raising his voice against the injustice being meted out to farmers,” the chief minister asked the Haryana government in a statement.
“Coming on the heels of the assault and cases registered by the UP Police against Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and seen in the context of the earlier lathicharge by the Haryana Police against agitating farmers, it is clear that BJP governments were bent on suppressing the voice of the opposition in total violation of the democratic rights enshrined in the Constitution,” he said.
The Punjab CM said the Congress will not be cowed down by such “autocratic and undemocratic actions of the BJP-led governments, either at the Centre or in the states”.
“If they think they can break the will of the Congress leadership or quell all opposition with such high-handedness, they are living in a fool's paradise,” the Punjab CM said.
History stands testimony to the fact that the voice of the people only gets stronger if it is sought to be crushed by force, he warned.
Vij had on Thursday had said Rahul Gandhi's proposed tractor rally won't be allowed to enter Haryana.
'They will not be allowed to disturb Haryana's atmosphere. Earlier, two Congress-sponsored rallies were stopped from entering the state. Likewise, we will stop his rally and won't allow him enter Haryana,' Vij had told reporters.
Rahul Gandhi will hold tractor rallies in Punjab and Haryana from October 4-6 to protest against the contentious farm laws.
'Rahul will start his Kisan Mazdoor Yatra on October 4 from Punjab's Moga. On October 6, this yatra will enter Haryana from the Pehowa border,' Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in Kaithal on Friday.
He said if the BJP-JJP government tried to stop him from entering Haryana, Congress workers will court arrest.
Meanwhile, Amarinder Singh flayed the “obnoxious manner” in which the BJP had been trying to “browbeat the opposition and muffle its voice, first in Parliament over the farm bills and then on Thursday in UP where the Gandhis were forcibly stopped from meeting the distressed family of the victim of the shocking Hathras incident”.
“Vij's statement showed that these acts were not arbitrary but a part of a grand design by the BJP to destroy all Opposition,” the CM said.
“But the BJP will not succeed. The people of India will not let them get away with this. They will once again be reduced to the two-odd seats in Parliament from where they had started their political journey,” Amarinder Singh warned. PTI SUN VSD RDK RDK