Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said today she was "deeply disturbed" by the violence on the streets of Delhi during farmer protests. She blamed what she called the centre's "insensitive attitude towards farmers" for the escalation and urged the government to repeal the laws that have triggered the protests.
"Deeply disturbed by worrying and painful developments that have unfolded on the streets of Delhi. Centre's insensitive attitude and indifference towards our farmer brothers and sisters has to be blamed for this situation," Mamata Banerjee tweeted.
"First, these laws were passed without taking farmers into confidence. And then despite protests across India and farmers camping near Delhi for last two months, they've been extremely casual in dealing with them. Centre should engage with the farmers and repeal the draconian laws."
Chaos and clashes erupted during a tractor rally by farmers protesting against three central laws that they feel will harm their income and leave them open to exploitation by corporates.
As the annual Republic Day parade took place in the heart of Delhi, farmers broke through barricades put up at the city's borders and marched in despite teargassing and lathi charge.
Thousands of farmers reached central Delhi and then drove tractors into the historic Red Fort complex, putting up flags and damaging the fencing.
The violence was condemned by many opposition leaders, with Congress leaders like Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh urging the farmers to go back to the borders.
Maharashtra politician Sharad Pawar, whose NCP is a part of the state's ruling coalition, said: "None can defend what is happening there today. But we also cannot ignore why it is happening. It is the responsibility of the Centre to note why the farmers who were protesting peacefully till now turned angry."