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Haryana Chief Minister Withdraws 'Tit For Tat' Remark Amid Farmers' Anger

Panchkula:

Days after he was seen speaking of raising volunteer groups, which, he said, can administer “tit for tat” treatment to counter farmers protesting the agricultural laws, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has withdrawn his controversial remarks.

Mr Khattar withdrew his statement and issued an ‘apology’ after backlash from farmers and the opposition.

“I withdraw my statement. I don’t want to encourage any sort of clash in the society,” he said in Panchkula.

The Chief Minister said he will be skipping tomorrow an event as farmers were planning to protest.

“Tomorrow, I was scheduled to attend a social programme by the Aggarwal community in Kaithal district. But farmers have given a call to oppose it despite my apology. Haryana’s assembly speaker will attend the event, he said.

The Chief Minister made the controversial remarks when he was addressing members of the BJP’s farmers’ wing who had come to his official residence to thank him for getting the grain procurement started.

“There are some new farm groups which have emerged recently. We have to support them,” Mr Khattar is heard saying in the video which emerged on Sunday.

“In the north and west Haryana, farmers should raise armed groups… Raise volunteer groups of 500-700-1000 people and pick up sticks and then follow a ‘tit for tat’ policy… Don’t bother about the consequences and if you go behind the bars for this then don’t worry about getting bail. You will come out a big leader,” he added.

The Congress, soon, came out with its attack, saying Mr Khattar has been accused of publicly advocating strong-arm tactics.
The Chief Minister’s Office had said the statement has been “spread after cutting it in half”.

The last use of force on farmers by the Haryana police took place on August 28. Around 10 people were injured as the Haryana police lathi-charged farmers who blocked a highway while on way to Karnal to protest against a BJP meeting attended by Chief Minister.

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