New Delhi: The Congress, condemning the violence that erupted in Haryana against the backdrop of Jat agitation for reservations, on Saturday, blamed the Manohar Lal Khattar government for failing to handle the situation.
"Violence has no place in democracy. Essence of democracy lies in solving every dispute through dialogue. Unfortunately, certain vested interests are indulging in violence in garb of reservation agitation to destroy the peaceful comradeship and fraternity of communities in 'Dev Bhoomi' Haryana. Time has come for all Haryanvis to stand united against forces that seek to create a caste division' in the state," said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.
Blaming the state's Bharatiya Janata Party government of failing to handle the situation, he said: "Having created intense division and provocation, BJP government in Haryana has utterly failed and proved incompetent to handle the volatile situation.
"We want to caution BJP governments at the centre and state to forthwith stop the politics of 'divide and rule', take decisive steps to restore peace and follow 'Rajdharma'."
According to sources, hundreds of Jat protesters continued their siege of some parts of Rohtak town on Saturday afternoon and were not willing to disperse despite warnings by the local authorities. Curfew continued in Rohtak and Bhiwani towns on Saturday.
"Valuable lives have been lost in the fire of reservation agitation in Haryana. We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased as also to victims of violence. We appeal to people of Haryana to maintain peace, tranquility and brotherhood," Surjewala added.
"Great discomfort and inconvenience has been caused to people of state and country in course of agitation. We demand that BJP governments at centre and state should settle the entire dispute immediately and peacefully besides taking strict action against those indulging in violence."
Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda also condemned the violence in the state and said he would go on a hunger strike until it normalised.
"I condemn the violence in Haryana. Whatever has happened in Haryana is very said and serious. I appeal to all the demonstrators not to get influenced by those people who are trying to ignite hatred and disrupt law and order and peace in the society. They should maintain brotherhood and peace. The government must act promptly and handle the situation in the state," he said.