Ahead of Rahul Gandhi's tractor rally in Haryana against the new farm laws, the BJP-led government on Monday said the Congress leader can bring a few people in the state but it will not permit a big crowd from Punjab which can "disturb" the atmosphere.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said Gandhi has the right to put forth his views but if he comes with a big procession from Punjab, we won't allow that.
Khattar said nobody will be permitted to spoil the atmosphere or take law and order into one's hands.
If he wants to have his programme by having some people from the state accompany him, there is no objection, the chief minister told reporters on the planned two-day protests by the opposition party from Tuesday.
He was replying to queries on the statement of state Home Minister Anil Vij that the government will not allow Gandhi to enter the state with a big crowd from Punjab and that the Congress leader can come "alone or with just a few people.
Gandhi, who is holding tractor rallies in Punjab against the newly enacted farm laws, is scheduled to reach Pehowa town in Kurukshetra district of Haryana with his supporters on Tuesday and address a gathering.
He will also address public gatherings in Karnal on Wednesday during his two-day visit, Congress leaders said.
Vij said the issue concerns our law and order and two Congress-sponsored rallies were also stopped last month by us from entering our state.
"If he (Rahul Gandhi) wants to come alone or with just a few people, there is no problem. He can come 100 times, we have no objection.
But if he comes with a big crowd from Punjab to disturb Haryana's atmosphere, then we will not permit. We are not going to allow that," Vij told PTI on Monday.
He alleged that the Congress, which is in power in Punjab, wants to use the state machinery to spoil Haryana's peaceful atmosphere, which we will not allow.
Vij also accused the Congress of trying to instigate farmers of Haryana and said the state government will not let them succeed in their designs.
"Under no circumstances will we allow Congress's evil designs to spoil peace and tranquillity in Haryana. We won't permit it at any cost, he said.
Vij, who is also the health minister of Haryana, had said on October 1 too that Gandhi's tractor rally won't be allowed to enter the state.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had hit back, asking if a "jungle raj" is prevailing in Haryana.
Senior Congress leader from Haryana and former state Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Sharma dared Vij to stop Gandhi from entering the state.
He should remain present at the inter-state border when Rahul ji comes, said Sharma and asked how could he stop a citizen from exercising the democratic right to express views in a peaceful manner.
After a night halt in Kurukshetra, Gandhi will visit Pipli on Wednesday morning, where he will meet the farmers who were allegedly lathicharged during a protest against the three farm legislation on September 10, Congress leaders said.
The former Congress president will then proceed to Nilokheri and Karnal before returning to Delhi.
Vij, who is a known baiter of the Nehru-Gandhi family, said no permission will be given to gather huge crowds at one place inside Haryana.
I am bound by law, how can I permit huge crowds, Vij said.
Vij also took a swipe at the Congress leaders for their tractor rally in Punjab
They are not concerned about farmers, they are only doing politics in their name.
"Rahul Gandhi, Amarinder Singh and (Punjab Congress chief) Sunil Jakhar ride a modified tractor. Even during their so-called protests, they do not want to part with luxury. They should see how hard a farmer toils in his fields, he said.
Vij said the Congress was "misleading" farmers on the new laws, which are going to bring a big change for the better in the lives of peasants.
On Amarinder Singh's criticism, he retorted, Actually, it is Punjab where there is no law and order.
They talk about farmers, but they burn the tools they worship. First they (youth Congress workers) set fire to a tractor on Ambala border, later a tractor was set on fire by them in Delhi.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)