India

"Didn't Fulfil Responsibility": Opposition Slams Centre For Delhi Chaos

The government should act maturely and take the right decision, Sharad Pawar said (File)

New Delhi:

The opposition today appeared united in blaming the centre for the violence that took place in the national capital during Tuesday's tractor rally, organised by the farmers protesting against the three central agriculture laws. Leaders of several political parties accused the BJP government of not doing enough to resolve the deadlock with farmers.

"Nobody will support whatever happened today but the reason behind it cannot be ignored either. Those sitting calmly grew angry; the Centre didn't fulfil its responsibility," Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

"The government should act maturely and take the right decision," he added, implying that the centre should accept the main of the farmers - repeal of the three laws.

The farmers have been protesting in and around Delhi for weeks against the laws. The centre has offered amendments to the protesting farmers but refused to withdraw the laws.

The tractor rally against the laws was scheduled to begin at 11.30 AM today but protesters started to pour in at Delhi borders from 8 AM. Later, thousands of farmers with their tractors and other vehicles broke police cordons and barricades to enter Delhi. The police had to use force at several places to control the crowds.

A protester died near central Delhi's ITO in a tractor accident, police said. His fellow protesters, however, claimed he was killed in police firing.

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The police said several of its personnel also got injured in the violence.

"The situation has been brought to this pass by the Modi government. Farmers have been protesting peacefully in the cold for more than 60 days, not allowed to come into Delhi and more than 100 kisans are dead," CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said in a tweet.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee blamed the centre's "indifference" for the violence.

"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.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor reacted to a clip in which a protester climbs onto a flagpole on the ramparts of Delhi's Red Fort to hoist a yellow flag.

"Most unfortunate. I have supported the farmers' protests from the start but I cannot condone lawlessness. And on Republic Day, no flag but the sacred tiranga should fly aloft the Red Fort," he tweeted.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's AAP said: "We strongly condemn the violence seen in today's protest. It is regrettable that the central government allowed the situation to deteriorate to such an extent."