CHANDIGARH: Haryana’s home minister Anil Vij on Thursday said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi can do whatever he wants during his visit to Punjab, where he is scheduled to hold tractor rallies against Centre’s new farm laws, but his rally will not be given permission to enter the neighbouring state.
Rahul Gandhi will hold tractor rallies in Punjab and Haryana from October 3 to 5 to protest against the Centre’s new farm laws, the party said.
“They will not be allowed to disturb Haryana’s atmosphere. Earlier, two Congress-sponsored rallies were also stopped from entering the state. Likewise, we will stop his (Rahul’s tractor) rally and won’t allow him to enter Haryana,” Vij told reporters.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leader, who has been vocal against the Nehru-Gandhi family, said the Haryana government had on two occasions last month denied entry to tractor rallies from Punjab.
The rallies, from Punjab to Delhi, were taken out on different dates by the Punjab Youth Congress and the opposition Lok Insaaf Party to protest against the farm laws. But Haryana police stopped them upon reaching Ambala after which the protesters had to retreat and terminate the rallies.
The Haryana police had also denied permission to another rally organised by the Haryana Youth Congress, which tried to move from Panipat to Delhi.
In all the three cases, the state police had denied permission, citing restrictions due to coronavirus pandemic.
Vij said that the farmers understand the Congress is trying to use their shoulder to further its own politics.
“In India, there are some elements who disregard Parliament, the Constitution and the courts. There is a need to deal with such elements strictly,” he said, adding that the farm laws are for the benefit of farmers.
According to a Punjab Congress spokesperson, the tractor rallies are expected to be supported by farmers’ organisations and they will cover more than 50 km over three days.
The rallies are scheduled to begin at around 11 am on each of the three days and they will be conducted amid strict Covid-19 protocols, said the spokesperson.
On October 5, the protest will begin from Dudhan Sadhan (Patiala) with a public meeting, and the tractors will then travel 10 km to Pehowa border, from where Rahul Gandhi will enter Haryana, for a series of programmes there, the spokesperson added.
Rahul Gandhi is likely to address rallies at Kaithal and Pipli along the national highway in Kurukshetra district on October 5 after which he will return to Delhi.
The farmers in Punjab and Haryana have been protesting against the farm laws and the Congress has been demanding their rollback.