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BJP says no to removing Manohar Lal Khattar as Haryana CM

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-08-2017 PTI

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday ruled out removal of Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who is under attack for the violence by followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh following his conviction in a rape case.

Defending the state government, BJP general secretary Anil Jain, the party in-charge for Haryana affairs, told reporters that death of people and damage to property were unfortunate but claimed that the government controlled the situation within three hours with “minimum possible damage”. He said the 31 people killed in the violence were members of the “unruly mob” which defied law and order.

With opposition parties attacking the government for allowing a huge congregation of Singh’s followers in Panchkula as the order was pronounced on Friday, Jain said the situation would have been worse had action been taken against the assembling crowd before he appeared in court on Friday. “There is no such consideration,” he said when asked if the party was considering removal of Khattar, who had also faced criticism for his government’s handling of the Jat agitation for reservation.

“The priority of the government was to ensure that the court’s order (ensuring Singh’s presence) is executed. This ‘baba’ has huge following and getting him to court peacefully and then sending him to jail after his conviction was a big task which it did. He has most fanatic followers,” Jain said.

Violence could have been worse if the government had used force before Singh arrived in the court, he said, adding that it might have resulted in the self-styled godman not presenting himself before court. “We did not want any confrontation before he arrived in the court,” he said, blaming “circumstances and unruly mob” for the violence.

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