Don’t disturb Punjab... move to Delhi: Amarinder to farmers
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Monday appealed to the representatives of various farmers’ unions to stop local protests against three central agriculture laws as it was hurting the state economy.
After laying the foundation stone of a government college, the chief minister said while the state stood with the farmers, cultivators should not hold protests in Punjab as it went against the interest of the state. He said the protests going on at 113 places in Punjab impacted its economic development.
“I want to appeal to our farmers that it’s your state and your own people, we should not disturb our state. Whatever pressure the farmers want to build on the central government should be done in New Delhi but we should look at the development of the state as our population has been increasing with time,” said Singh.
He further said that he was hopeful that farmers will accept his appeal to not protest in Punjab. “Do you know farmers are also sitting at 113 places in Punjab? What will be the gain out of it? Punjab will suffer financially. They are doing it at Delhi (borders) and in Haryana. You do it there,” Singh told the farmers.
He said that the three controversial central laws, which were passed by the Union government last year, had already been rejected in the state assembly. He also listed a slew of farm-friendly policies undertaken by his government.
Punjab goes to the polls in early 2022.
Reacting to Singh’s statement, Haryana home minister Vij accused him of instigating farmers. “It is a very irresponsible statement of Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh to tell farmers that do whatever you want in Haryana or at Delhi borders but do not do it in Punjab,” Vij said in a tweet.
“This proves that Amarinder Singh has done the work of instigating farmers,” he added.
Last month, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar had accused the Congress government in Punjab of fuelling farmers’ unrest in his state.
The three farm laws, enacted last year, promised major reforms in the agriculture sector but farmers, primarily from Punjab and Haryana, launched massive protests blocking arterial highways in the national capital. The farmers say the new rules favour big corporations to whom they will lose business and gradually end the system of state-set minimum prices – charges refuted by the government.
For roughly 10 months, farmers have been protesting at sites such as Singhu and Tikri outside the Capital.
Earlier in a day, Singh accused Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal of playing a double game on farmers, for initially backing the farm ordinances and later taking a U-turn on the issue after facing farmers’ ire.