Jat Agitators Shifting Goalposts, Says Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar

CHANDIGARH: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday told the assembly that agitating Jat leaders were raising new demands and shifting goalposts, thereby complicating the situation.

The state government was, therefore, facing difficulty in accepting their demands, he added.

He, however, warned that “any attempt to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in Haryana will not be tolerated at any cost”.

“Earlier, the Jat agitators had raised only seven demands; now their demands have increased to 28. They are insisting they will not hold any dialogue on the earlier demands. They are changing goalposts and this attitude could make the situation even more complicated,” Mr Khattar said while responding to an adjournment motion moved by some members.

The Jat agitation resumed on January 29. Mr Khattar also sought cooperation of the opposition parties to resolve the issue of reservation for Jats in government jobs and educational institutions.

He denied that the BJP government was not willing to talk to the agitators nor ready to accept their genuine demands.

He dubbed as “baseless, false and incorrect” allegations that some state ministers and ruling BJP leaders were trying to divide different communities and playing a double game by not holding parleys with the agitators.

He said the government was willing to talk to any group or leader who can help resolve the issue.

Mr Khattar said Haryana had enacted The Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Act, 2016, providing reservation to members of the Jat, Ror, Bishnoi, Jat Sikh, Muila Jat/Muslim Jat and Tyagi communities in May 2016.

The act was, however, challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court which stayed its implementation.

He said cases registered against agitators involved in violence during the Jat agitation in February 2016 were under High Court scrutiny and his government could not withdraw these.