New Delhi, Jan 26 (PTI) Left leaders on Tuesday condemned the violence that broke out on the streets of the capital during the tractor rally of farmers, but squarely blamed the government for letting the situation deteriorate.
The Delhi Police had given permission to farmers protesting the agri reforms to hold their tractor parade on selected routes only after the official Republic Day parade on the Rajpath concluded.
Deviating from the designated route for the tractor parade, the protesting farmers reached the Red Fort and hoisted flags from some domes of the iconic monument in the national capital.
They earlier clashed with the police at ITO while trying to enter Lutyen's Delhi. The police used tear gas shells and lathi-charge to dispel the violent farmers.
'The situation has been brought to this pass by the Modi government. Farmers have been protesting peacefully in the cold for more than 60 days, not allowed to come into Delhi and more than 100 kisans are dead,' CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said in a tweet.
'Violence in no form is an answer & is unacceptable. A govt which smears dissent, BJP's troll army vilify those who ask for their rights, ministers make wild allegations, law officers make claims without basis in court -- this is no way to deal with legitimate demands of our Kisans,' he said.
Yechury further said the three farm laws must be immediately repealed and the announcement to that should be made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
'The Republic is of the public. The tantra (establishment) in Ganatantra has no meaning without the gana (the people). The protests are for a legitimate demand of millions of our farmers from various states across the country. That remains the issue at hand, and must be resolved. The solution is clear - repeal these farm laws,' he said.
CPI general secretary D Raja too said violence was no way for either party to deal with the situation, but also blamed the Centre for letting things go out of hand.
'The farmers have been agitating for almost 60 days and it has been peaceful and nonviolent. When they were stopped at the borders, they sat there. Now after negotiations, they were allowed to have the rally on agreed routes, then why did the police not ensure that they took the designated path? The incident should have been averted. For this it is the government that is to blame,' he said.
'The government should have assured the farmers that in the forthcoming parliament session they will move bill to withdraw the three laws. Modi should be blamed for letting farmers be treated like this. The farmers have said that the laws are not in the interest of the country, but for the corporates,' Raja said.
CPI-ML general secretary, Dipankar Bhattacharya congratulated the farmers on their tractor rally and appealed to them to continue their struggle without getting provoked.
'The sporadic incidents that disturbed this dominant picture, are primarily due to the adamant attitude of the Modi regime and the repression unleashed by its police against the farmers,' he said in a statement.
'The Modi regime has forced farmers to camp at Delhi’s borders for two months in the cold weather, resulting in the deaths of more than 70 farmers at the protest sites. Even in the face of this, the movement has displayed remarkable patience and restraint, occasional expressions of restlessness notwithstanding.' Bhattacharya said the Modi regime must not be allowed to spin a narrative blaming and demonising farmers. 'We must all refuse to allow the issue to be diverted away from the demand to repeal the three farm laws. We appeal to the farmers to resume their agitation without getting provoked and diverted, and pledge our unflinching support and cooperation for their just movement,' he said.
Farmers' union body Samyukta Kisan Morcha has, however, disassociated itself from those who indulged in violence during the tractor parade, and alleged that some 'antisocial elements' infiltrated their otherwise peaceful movement.
The union also condemned and regretted the 'undesirable' and 'unacceptable' events as the parade turned violent after several groups of farmers deviated from the pre-decided route for the march. PTI ASG RDM RDM