Pain of agitating farmers will reach Central govt: Amarinder

Chandigarh, Sep 25 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday expressed hope that the pain of the agitating farmers, who braved the pandemic and the heat to protest against the agriculture Bills, will reach the Central government and it will step back from “destroying the farm sector with such ruthless disregard for the farming community”.

The BJP-led Union government had, “with its ill-conceived and unconstitutional farm laws, pushed the farmers to the brink, forcing them to come out on the roads and endanger their lives amid the Covid-19 pandemic”, he said, expressing grave concern over the plight of the farmers and others associated with the agriculture sector — the lifeline of Punjab’s economy.

“Maybe the distressing visuals of tens of hundreds of farmers out on the roads at hundreds of locations in Punjab, and in several other states, will touch the hearts of the Central leadership.

“Perhaps the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will now realise its folly,” the Chief Minister said in a statement.

Reiterating his commitment “to fight the draconian laws till his last breath”, Amarinder Singh urged the President not to give his assent to the Bills, “which were crafted to destroy not just the economy of Punjab and the food security of the nation but also the lives of lakhs of farmers and their families, as well as those dependent on the agricultural food chain for their livelihood”.

The Bills, if implemented, will have devastating effects for the border state of Punjab, as well as for the entire nation, he warned, charging the Centre with ignoring the farmers’ concerns to promote the interests of their capitalist cronies.

The Chief Minister said his government, along with the Punjab Congress, will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the farmers to oppose the Bills, and will take whatever steps needed, including moving the courts, “to scuttle the Centre’s dangerous attempt to demolish the state’s well-established farming network”.

Amarinder Singh also lashed out at the Akalis for their public posturing on the Bills, “which even the farmers had dismissed as crocodile tears”.

Reacting to the attack by Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal and his wife and former Union Minister Harsimrat Badal on him, the Chief Minister dubbed it a blatant tactic to divert attention from their own failure to protect the farmers’ interests and their shameful decision to stay on in the Central government, after actively supporting and defending the farm ordinances.

He said the Akali double standards had been totally exposed by the fact that they continued to be a part of the “anti-farmer ruling coalition” at the Centre and had, till date, refused to even come out with any public criticism of the Union government.

This drama of Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigning from the Union Cabinet is not enough to convince the farmers of the sincerity of SAD, he said.

Questioning Sukhbir Badal’s persistent refusal to pull his party out of the ruling NDA, the Chief Minister said the farmers of Punjab had seen through the Akali tactics, and won’t let them succeed in their despicable and greedy attempts.

–IANS
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