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In the aftermath of the clashes that broke out during Republic Day, BJP leader Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday accused the Congress of stirring violence during the farmers' tractor rally on Republic Day and said the opposition party has been perniciously misleading farmers during the ongoing agitation.
The farmers' tractor rally, which was a mark of protest against the new farm laws by the central government, sparked chaos in the national capital on Tuesday as a section of protesting farmers entered Central Delhi without permission. This led to clashes between the Delhi police and protesters.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar said India will not tolerate its flag's insult at Red Fort, referring to the Nishank flag that was hoisted along with the tricolour on the pole.
The opposition party cannot escape its responsibility as it is in power in Punjab, he said, adding that the state government should have arrested criminal elements as a preventive measure as people drove their tractors from there to the protest venue in Delhi.
He referred to tweets from some Congress handles that had lauded the rally on Wednesday and also to prior remarks of some farmer leaders to hit out at them for the violence in which, he noted, over 400 police personnel were injured.
The senior BJP leader hit out at Rahul Gandhi, alleging that he had always worked to provoke protestors and denounced violence only after it had drawn nationwide provocation.
The Congress is desperate and frustrated, he said, adding that Communist parties are also in the same state.
These parties want violence and unrest in the country at any cost so that they could exploit it, he said, claiming that the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has only been rising.
"The Congress wants to create a situation of unrest in the country. This is what is left of Congress' politics. It worried as to what will happen to its family-based politics," he said.
Farmers of other states have not supported the agitation, Javadekar said, adding that the three contentious farm laws have only given tillers more options.
The Congress knows it and does not want any resolution to be reached between protesting farmer unions and the government, he said.
Lauding the Delhi Police, he said it displayed remarkable restraint despite being attacked by swords and stones.
The Congress on Wednesday demanded the "immediate sacking" of Union home minister Amit Shah, terming the anarchic scenes witnessed at the Red Fort a “conspiracy to malign farmers and their peaceful protest against the three black farm laws”.
The Congress also alleged that the violence witnessed at the Red Fort was a “colossal intelligence failure for which the Union home minister is directly responsible”.
Deep Sidhu – the Punjabi actor who was seen hoisting the Nishan Sahib flag at the Red Fort as scores of protestors stormed its ramparts – is a “BJP insider who was acting at the behest of Amit Shah as part of a pre-planned conspiracy to discredit the peaceful farmers’ agitation”, the party claimed.
The Congress party has also protested the lodging of FIRs by the Delhi Police against various farm union leaders alleging that “the actual perpetrators of the violence – Deep Sidhu and gang – have been let off.”
Stating that the farmers had been agitating peacefully for over two months at Delhi’s borders and had repeatedly asserted that they want to keep their movement non-violent, Surjewala said it needs to be enquired what triggered the sudden spurt of violence on January 26. He added that “responsibility and accountability of the Centre, Shah and the Delhi Police administration” will need to be fixed.
With PTI inputs
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