Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh (L) and Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh (L) and Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
File Photo

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday held his Punjab counterpart Amarinder Singh responsible for the thousands of farmers marching to Delhi and said that the Punjab CM wasn't picking up his phone calls.

"Captain Amarinder Singh is not picking up my phone calls," Khattar said, after complaining of "some connection" between the farmers' protest and "certain political parties and some unions."

Khattar said that farmers from his state did not participate in the 'Dilli Chalo' protest march against the Centre's farm laws, adding the ongoing demonstrations is being driven by certain political parties and unions.

He also hinted at the fact the ongoing farmers' protest has a "pro-Khalistan" connection and that there are some "unwanted elements" among the ranks of the farmers who have been raising slogans against the central government and demanding entry into Delhi.

'The movement began in Punjab'

"The movement was started by farmers of Punjab. Farmers of Haryana did not take part in these protests (Dilli Chalo) and I would congratulate them for that. I would like to praise the Haryana police for performing their duty with utmost composure for the past two days," Khattar told reporters in Gurugram.

The Haryana Chief Minister further condemned the politics that is being played in the name farmers' protest. Talking about Amarinder Singh's criticism of Haryana Police, Khattar said, "I made continuous effort to get in touch with Amarinder Singh. We tried to get in touch with him but we could not get hold of him. This has never happened in my political career ever."

This comes after Amarinder Singh on Friday slammed the Haryana government, accusing the state Police of taking a "confrontationist approach" against the farmers.

'Won't pick up call'

On the other hand, in an interview with NDTV, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh revealed that he was furious with Khattar's crackdown on the farmers' protest and authorisation of the use of force against what began as a peaceful march.

He said that stopping the farmers from their right to protest was "dishonest behaviour" on part of the Haryana chief minister and severely criticised Khattar for "using water cannons and tear-gassing" the protesters.

"He can call me 10 times now, I won't pick up his call," the Punjab chief minister was quoted as saying in the NDTV report.

A day after their stand-off with security forces over entry into Delhi, farmers who have travelled from Punjab and Haryana continued to rally and shout slogans at the Tikri interstate border entry/exit point on Saturday, without any interference from the policemen who preferred to look on.

Farmers march to Delhi

Farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana on Saturday morning began arriving at the Nirankari Samagam Ground on the outskirts of the national capital for a protest against the new farm laws.

After days of a standoff with police and after facing teargas shells, water cannons and barricading on various points on the Delhi-Haryana border by police, the farmers 'Dilli Chalo' march was allowed to enter Delhi on Friday and proceed to the ground in Burari situated in its north-west.

Various farmer leaders addressed the protesters even as the situation was more relaxed compared with what was witnessed on Friday, as policemen armed with a water cannon and tear-gas shells remained stationed in the vicinity.

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