New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday that the Centre’s “insensitive attitude” and indifference towards farmers are to be blamed for the violent protests in Delhi, maintaining that she was deeply disturbed by the situation.
Banerjee urged the Centre to engage with the farmers and repeal the new farm laws, which she termed draconian.
“Deeply disturbed by worrying and painful developments that have unfolded on the streets of Delhi. Centre’s insensitive attitude and indifference towards our farmer brothers and sisters has to be blamed for this situation,” she tweeted.
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 delivered a national insult — hoisting a religious flag from the rampart of Red Fort, a privilege reserved for India’s tricolour.
Banerjee said, “First, these laws were passed without taking farmers in confidence. And then despite protests across India and farmers camping near Delhi for last 2 months, they’ve (Centre) been extremely casual in dealing with them.”
“Centre should engage with the farmers and repeal the draconian laws,” she added.
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.
Senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury alleged that the Delhi Police attacked the farmers without any provocation.
“This shows the unsympathetic attitude of the BJP government to the problems faced by the small and marginal farmers,” he said.
Senior CPI(M) leader Md Salim said, “Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are responsible for today’s turn of events for their unresponsive attitude to the justified demands of the farmers.”
He said the Left will continue to be on the side of the agitating farmers.
State BJP leader Sovan Chatterjee said that no disrespect should be shown to the national flag.
“However, it has to be found out if there was any provocation from any quarter for such an act,” he added.