Raj Kumar Saini, BJP MP from Kurukshetra, was one voice in the party openly objecting to the demand for reservation for the Jat community. In the Haryana violence, his house in Kaithal was attacked by a mob. At a time when the Centre is blackmailed into negotiations over the quota stir, Saini talks to AMIT BHARDWAJ over telephone about the reasons for the breakdown of the state machinery in Haryana and the support the rioters got from elements within the government to orchestrate the violence.
Edited Excerpts from an interview
Why did the Haryana Police fail to bring things under control when the mayhem was going on?
A particular community has 50 percent representation in Haryana Police. Many officers from the community under question themselves got police stations ransacked, handed over weapons to protestors and allowed violence in the state to continue. The police force encouraged these protestors instead of stopping them.
What was the state government doing all this while?
The state machinery was hijacked by our own ministers from that particular community. The cm was advised to remain silent otherwise a civil war like situation could have unfolded. These ministers hijacked the state machinery and stopped it from taking any action.
Are you saying that ministers within the BJP are responsible for this rampage.
Bhoopinder Singh Hooda added fuel to fire so that the party gets defamed and no other Jat leader becomes strong. His role was to set the state on fire. And yes, BJP ministers from one particular community encouraged the protestors. They forgot that the BJP is in power, both at the state and the Centre.
Was the Saini Community attacked because you opposed Jat reservation?
When the Supreme Court, the highest court of this country, rejected their demands how could Jats hold the state to ransom like this? I have opposed their way of protest. “Dilli ka pani rok denge, Haryana jala denge (will stop Delhi’s water, set Haryana on fire),” they say. When a minister from our own government, from this particular community, had accepted that they were a prosperous enough lot, then why do they give such statements?
Saini Mohalla and properties owned by Punjabis in Jhajjar and Rohtak were ransacked. It looks like a case of attack.
Houses of Sainis were attacked in Jhajjar so that no one is able to support me. Houses and shops of Punjabis were attacked to tarnish Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s image. All houses and around 80 shops owned by Sainis were set on fire in Rohtak.
Have you tried to communicate with Prime Minister Modi?
I am trying hard to meet pm Modi but he has a busy schedule.
The Haryana election was fought in PM Modi’s name. People are saying we voted for Modi and when today, Haryana is burning neither the Centre nor the PM has sent out any stern message. How will you defend this inaction?
I will talk about Modiji later on. They are talking about everything — the JNU debate, the Hyderabad Row, but not Haryana! The whole state has been reduced to ashes but no one has been able to question the ruling party. This reflects their guilt.
But one question still lingers — why hasn’t the PM responded yet?
No one can comment or talk against their own party. It is the voters who will ask the questions and make the ruling party answer.