New Delhi [India], January 27 (ANI): BJP leader and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday sought an apology from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, alleging that the opposition party had "instigated farmers" carrying out tractor parade in the national capital on January 26. The protest saw violence and chaotic scenes.
Addressing a press conference at BJP headquarters here, he alleged the Congress does not want farmers' agitation to end and said people will give the party a befitting reply.
"Congress instigated farmers on January 26. It is an example to which Congress has stooped. They cannot run away from taking responsibility because it has the government in Punjab. We condemn such politics of Congress. People will give them a befitting reply. There are no protests in many states despite Congress efforts. We condemn such instigation politics by Congress," he said.
"There is evidence who instigated the mob from the morning. Who defied the agreement they had reached with police when police granted them permission to hold a tractor parade? Congress and Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the country because this negative politics is not useful for the country," he added.
Javadekar said the government has held eleven rounds of discussion with farmers and expressed its willingness to put the new farm laws on hold for about 18 months.
"These laws are an attempt to give the farmer a choice. This Congress also understands but it does not want to let the compromise happen. In a way, sometimes it seems that these parties who have been defeated in the elections are all gathered and trying to create unrest in the country," he said.
The BJP leader asserted that everyone who indulged in or incited violence should be punished.
He alleged that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was provoking farmers.
"The violence that unfolded in Delhi yesterday cannot be condemned enough. Everyone who incited it should be punished. India will not forget the insult of the Tricolour. Congress has continuously fuelled farmers' protests. There is a Congress government in Punjab. Some farmers were saying that there is a final match on January 26. Then the Punjab government should have kept a vigil on tractors and arrested habitual criminals," Javadekar said.
"Rahul Gandhi was not only constantly supporting but also provoking (protests). It happened during CAA as well. Congress holds rallies, they instigate people to take to streets and agitation begins the next day. It happened during this agitation too. They instigated farmers," he added.
He praised Delhi Police for displaying restraint during violence yesterday.
"They were attacked by swords and even stones were thrown, but they did not retaliate. They brought the situation under control with patience," he said.
Delhi witnessed violence during the tractor march by farmers on Republic Day to protest against three farm laws. The protestors violated the agreement about the route for the tractor march and entered central Delhi after forcibly removing barricades. Several policemen were injured in the violence and vehicles were damaged.
Nineteen people have been so far arrested and over 25 criminal cases registered by Delhi Police in connection with the violence, Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava said on Wednesday. (ANI)