Farmers waiving black flags on Tuesday dug up a portion of a helipad in Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala’s constituency, later claiming that their protest had forced him to cancel his visit there. Police, however, said the protest by a small group of farmers took place hours after they were informed that the visit had been cancelled. His party said there was no visit planned.
A small hole was dug up by the protesters at the temporary helipad, police said. The protesters asked Chautala to choose between power or side with farmers protesting the Centre’s farm laws.
Terming the state government as anti-farmer, they raised slogans against Chautala and dug up a portion of the temporary helipad at Karsandhu village in Uchana. They claimed that Chautala had to cancel an event near the village because of their protest. However, a Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) spokesperson told PTI that Chautala had no programme to attend in Uchana. After a press conference in Chandigarh, he had to leave for Delhi, he said.
The protesters said till the time Chautala does not come in their support, they will hold protests against the JJP leader. “He should resign and stand with farmers. If he has to support the BJP, let him but then we will not allow him to enter Uchana," they said.
The protesters said Chautala became deputy CM as they voted for him. “He is a great grandson of Chaudhary Devi Lal, the messiah of farmers who dedicated his entire life for their sake. But Dushyant is clinging to power. He will have to make a choice now,” said farmer leader Krishan Kumar.
“We wanted to greet him with black flags because he continues to support the anti-farmer BJP government,” said another protesting farmer.
Dushyant is the JJP MLA from Uchana. His party with 10 MLAs is supporting the BJP, which has 40 members in the 90-member state assembly.
A police official from Uchana said they were informed early in the morning that the deputy CM’s programme has been postponed. He said in the afternoon, a group of farmers reached the school where the temporary helipad was located. “A small hole was dug up by the protesters, the police official said.
At a press conference in Chandigarh earlier in the day, Chautala reiterated that he will tender his resignation the day he feels he is unable to ensure the minimum support price (MSP) for the farmers’ produce in Haryana.
To another question on the withdrawal of support to the BJP in the state, Chautala said, “There is no pressure. We are running the government in a very stable manner."
On Tuesday, a group of farmers had shown black flags to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar passing through Ambala City.
Police on Wednesday said some farmers tried to charge towards the convoy and blocked its movement for some time. They said some of them hurled sticks at some vehicles. Later, the Haryana Police booked 13 farmers on charges of attempt to murder and rioting.