Chandigarh, Dec 20 (PTI) Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday defended the Centre's new farm laws and claimed a handful of people are opposing these due to 'political reasons'.
He said in a democratic set up though everyone has the right to put forward his views, there is no place for putting pressure by blocking roads.
Addressing a “Jal Adhikar Rally” in south Haryana's Narnaul, where a galaxy of senior BJP leaders from the state were in attendance, Khattar said the Centre is committed to doubling the farmers' income by 2022.
He said this will be done in many stages and farm reforms is one of them.
“But a handful of people, who are politically motivated, I won't call them as representatives of farmers, are opposing these laws due to political reasons,” he said.
He said there are ways to protest, it can be on the floor of the assembly, through the media, by going amongst people and holding big or small meetings in public, “but to put pressure by gathering 50,000, 70,000 people and blocking roads…democracy is not for such things”.
“There is no place for this in a democracy. If governments bend on this, then the country will go in wrong direction. With great difficulties, we have set up this democracy,” he said.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and other parts of the country protesting for the past over three weeks near various border points of the national capital, demanding the repeal of the farm laws, which the ruling party has claimed are for farmers’ benefit.
State BJP chief O P Dhankar, who also addressed the public at the rally, claimed the farm reforms are for farmers and they are in its support.
He said during a television debate a few days ago, a farmer leader was asked when will this agitation will end, to which he replied it will end the day there is no politics in it.
“This agitation now is not of farmers, it is about politics, this agitation is of 'lal jhanda' (the Left)..know who these people are and when we do so we will realise and understand what is their motive,” said Dhankar.
Khattar reiterated that he would leave politics if there was any kind of threat to the minimum support price (MSP) system.
Speaking on the Sutlej-Yamuna link canal, Khattar said in a democratic country, states cannot be run arbitrarily and added “Punjab will have to give up its stubbornness over the issue”.
He hoped that Haryana will definitely get its rightful share of waters.
He asked the farmers protesting against the farm laws to include construction of the canal in Punjab as one of their demands during talks with the Centre.
“The SYL case has been pending for decades. As soon as the BJP government was formed, a plea to hear the matter ahead of time was made, after which the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Haryana. The court had asked chief ministers of both the states to sit down and decide but Punjab has not agreed to give Haryana its rightful share,” he said.
Union minister Rao Inderjit Singh said during the Modi government's tenure several steps have been taken for farmers' welfare.
Defending the farm laws, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a true well-wisher of farmers.
“During the Congress-led UPA regime, the agriculture budget was Rs 12,000 crore, which is now Rs 1.34 lakh crore,” he said.
During the rally, a man was briefly detained by police after he allegedly waved a black flag. PTI SUN VSD RDK RDK