In the wake of violence during the farmers' tractor parade, NCP president Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said what happened in Delhi is indefensible, but one also cannot ignore reasons which led to the situation as he warned against the use of force on protesters.
The former Union Agriculture Minister asked the Centre to hold a dialogue with cultivators seeking scrapping of the new agri-marketing laws giving up its "extreme position" on the issue.
A tractor march meant to highlight farmers' demands dissolved into anarchy on the streets of the national capital, as hordes of rampaging protesters broke through barriers, fought with police, overturned vehicles and hoisted a religious flag from the rampart of Red Fort, a privilege reserved for the tricolour.
Interacting with media persons, Pawar said Punjab may head towards restlessness if the Centre uses force against protesters and asked the Modi government to not commit that sin.
The farmers organised tractor rally. It was expected of the Centre and those responsible for law and order then to deal with them sensibly. But it did not happen is obvious, Pawar alleged.
Pawar said a way out should have been found over the farmers demands without hurting the protesters who have been agitating for two months.
The NCP leader said from the information he has received, strict conditions were imposed on the protesters before they took out the tractor rally.
It was required to deal with the protesters keeping in mind their 50-60 days agitation and their patience. But a different view was held (by the authorities) and hence, the situation has deteriorated.
None can defend what is happening there today. But we also cannot ignore why it is happening, Pawar said.
Pawar said it was the responsibility of the Centre to note why the farmers who were protesting peacefully till now turned angry and added the government should have handled the agitators accordingly.
But it did not happen and the situation deteriorated, Pawar alleged.
It is my expectation that the Centre shows prudence and gives up its extreme position on the issue while holding dialogue with these (farmers) bodies.
It should hold a dialogue. It should think of their demands seriously and take a suitable decision, Pawar said.
He said Punjab may head towards restlessness if the Centre uses force against the agitators.
If this is not done (dialogue is not held) and if we (the Centre) try to use force, then Punjab — which was restless once upon a time, but has recovered — may head towards restlessness and the Modi government should not commit that sin, Pawar added.