No place for such incidents in democracy: Congress on violence during farmers' tractor parade

"Today, the Congress party and the entire country is pained by the violence and unruly incidents in Delhi. There is no place for such incidents in a democracy," Surjewala said
Last Updated 26 January 2021, 16:48 IST

Expressing anguish over the violence in the national capital during the farmers' tractor parade on Tuesday, the Congress said there is no place for such incidents in a democracy, even as it urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "shun arrogance" and repeal the three farm laws.

Putting the onus of Tuesday's events on the government and questioning it for not accepting the farmers demands, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it was not right on the government's part to create a facade of talks and yet, neither conceding to their demands nor proposing any solution.

"The Congress party believes that the 61-day-old face-off between the people and the system is not good for India's democracy. The message is clear that the country's people are anguished with the government. In such a situation, the Modi government will also have to shun arrogance and head the pleas of farmers," the AICC general secretary said in a statement.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have to shed his arrogance and tread the path of 'Rajdharma'. This is the true message of the 72nd Republic Day. Without any further delay, all three anti-farming black laws will have to be withdrawn. This is also the call of 62 crore 'annadatas' of the country," he said.

The Congress leader also hailed the farm unions for dissociating from the day's violent incidents and hoped that they would follow the path of peace and non-violence to achieve their goal.

"Today, the Congress party and the entire country is pained by the violence and unruly incidents in Delhi. There is no place for such incidents in a democracy," he added.

"The agitators must keep their goal in mind. Non-violence and peace have remained the biggest strength of this farmer agitation. We sincerely hope that this farmer-labourer alliance will pledge to remain committed to a peaceful and non-violent struggle for the repeal of the three three anti-agriculture black laws," Surjewala said.

He also criticised the government for holding 10 rounds of talks and yet not resolving the deadlock.

"Is it right for the prime minister to not give a healing touch despite the death of 175 farmers? Is the Modi government's policy of tiring out the farmers good for the country," Surjewala asked.

A tractor parade by the farmer unions meant to highlight their demands dissolved into anarchy on the streets of the national capital during the day as hordes of rampaging protesters broke through barriers, fought with police, overturned vehicles and delivered a national insult -- hoisting a religious flag from the rampart of Red Fort, a privilege reserved for India's tricolour.

Tens of thousands of protesters clashed with police in multiple places, leading to chaos in well-known landmarks of Delhi and suburbs, amid waves of violence that ebbed and flowed through the day, leaving the farmers' two-month peaceful movement in tatters. One person was killed and several were injured in the clashes.

(Published 26 January 2021, 16:48 IST)

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