The Haryana Cabinet held a special meeting in Chandigarh on Tuesday evening under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in the wake of the events that unfolded in the national capital during the tractor parade and appealed to all protesting farmers to return to their homes.
Mr Khattar said farmer unions had assured a peaceful tractor rally in the national capital. “But the events which unfolded today make it clear that this agitation is now not under the control of these farmer leaders. And the command of this agitation is now in the hands of such anarchic elements whose ideology is different from the farmers’ interests,” he said.
The chief minister issued a statement asking the farmer community to ponder over where their agitation was headed.
“The entire Haryana cabinet, through its special meeting held today, humbly appeals to all farmers of this agitation to return to their homes. The strong need of the hour this time is that together we defeat the designs of the anti-social elements,” Mr Khattar said.
Earlier, he described as “most unfortunate” the incident of a protesting farmer hoisting a religious flag at the Red Fort.
Such an incident at Red Fort on Republic Day is strongly condemnable, Mr Khattar had said.
“In a democratic setup, there is adequate space to resolve issues through dialogue,” he said, referring to the farmers who have been sitting in protest for two months near Delhi’s borders against the Centre’s new farm laws.
But no Indian will tolerate anyone hoisting any flag other than the tricolour from the ramparts of the Red Fort, Mr Khattar said. This is an insult to those freedom fighters and martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of this nation, he added.
The freedom fighters did not fight for the country’s independence to see the spread of this type of anarchy, Mr Khattar said.