Farmers move barricades during a tractor rally to protest against farm laws on the occasion of India's Republic Day at Tikri border near New Delhi, January 26. (Image: Reuters)
The Shiv Sena on Thursday alleged that the BJP-led central government wanted the farmers to get provoked and turn violent so that their ongoing protest against three new agriculture laws gets maligned.
It was referring to the violence that erupted in Delhi during the farmers' tractor parade on the Republic Day.
The party said the violence was not in the national interest.
The Maharashtra BJP, however, termed the Sena's allegation against the central government "baseless".
In an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana', the Sena said, "The farmers' agitation against the three farm laws has been going on in a peaceful manner for the last 60 days. The protesters have been camping on Delhi borders, seeking repeal of the three new laws. There was neither any division among the protesting farmers, nor did they lose their patience."
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"The central government could not do much about it. It wanted the farmers' to get provoked and turn violent so that their protest gets maligned. On January 26, its wish came true. But it also brought a bad name to the country," the Sena alleged.
"It is easy to say that the farmers took law into their hands. But they have been seeking withdrawal of the farm laws. What about that?" it said.
The self-respect of farmers from Punjab is troubling the Centre, the party claimed.
"It is not correct to blame only the farmers for the violence in Delhi. What the government wanted was brought to reality, but farmers and the police suffered due to it," it added.
"Who will hold the government accountable for what happened? the Sena asked.
It alleged that the BJP's "intelligence machinery" found that the violence was pre-planned and "terrorists have taken over the agitation".
"The leader of the violent protest was one Deep Sidhu, associated with the BJP. Farmer leaders have said that Sidhu was instigating the farmers for the last two months, but everyone showed patience," the Sena added.
"The farmers want three agriculture laws repealed. But why is the government adamant?" it asked.
Maharashtra BJP spokesperson Keshav Upadhye said the Sena's charge against the Centre was baseless.
It is unfortunate that some people don't see beyond politics and want to spread anarchy in the name of farmers' protest, he said.
The tractor parade on Tuesday that was to highlight the demands of the farmer unions to repeal three new agri laws dissolved into anarchy on the streets of Delhi as tens of thousands of protesters broke through barriers, fought with police, overturned vehicles and hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
The Delhi Police has registered several FIRs in connection with the violence that broke out during the farmers' tractor parade.