Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
File Photo

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday said that 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.

Chief Minister 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.

Khattar also held his Punjab counterpart Amarinder Singh responsible for the thousands of farmers marching to Delhi.

'Unwanted elements'

The chief minister of Haryana while addressing a press conference on the 'Delhi Chalo' march by farmers said that the authorities have received "inputs" of there being "unwanted elements in the crowd". More details will be disclosed once the received inputs are "concrete", he said.

"We had this input that there are certain unwanted elements that were present in these protests. It would be unwise to make those reports public at this moment. We will wait until we will gather substantial evidence," the chief minister said.

Pro-Khalistan link?

"In videos they said 'Jab Indira Gandhi ko ye kar sakte hain, to Modi ko kyu nahi kar sakte' (If they can do in Indira Gandhi, why not Modi?)," Khattar was quoted as saying in a report.

Notably, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated in October 1984 by her own bodyguards and Sikh nationalists after she ordered military action in Amritsar's Golden Temple in Operation Blue Star.

"The movement was started by farmers of Punjab. However, there is some connection with certain political parties and some unions. 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.

"There is no point in trying to meet the government in such large numbers. I have made an appeal to the farmers that their representative should talk to the Centre. Even our union ministers and the Home Minister has reiterated this point. I don't see any other way out of this," he added.

Politics over protest

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.

Farmers march to Delhi

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, 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.

(With inputs from agencies)

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