Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal during a video press confrence in New Delhi, India on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.(HT photo)
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal during a video press confrence in New Delhi, India on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.(HT photo)

Kejriwal, Amarinder Singh slug it out over new farm laws

Addressing a digital press conference, Arvind Kejriwal said all the three farm laws were brought in and implemented by the Central government and that the state governments have no role to play in it.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 03, 2020 02:18 AM IST

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday criticised his Punjab counterpart Captain Amarinder Singh for “falsely” accusing him of passing the farm laws in the national Capital and questioned if he is acting at the behest of the BJP-led Central government.

Addressing a digital press conference, Kejriwal said all the three farm laws were brought in and implemented by the Central government and that the state governments have no role to play in it. He also appealed to the Centre to accept all demands of the farmers and amend the farm laws to include guarantee of MSP.

“Yesterday, the Punjab CM alleged that I passed these black farm laws in Delhi. How can Captain Singh play such low-level politics in this fragile situation? The day the President signed the black farm laws, they became effective across the entire country from that day itself,” he said.

The Punjab CM rejected Kejriwal’s assertion, and said it was clear that the AAP leader did not even want to try to fight the “draconian legislations”. “Why did you not stand against the Centre by passing your own state legislations like we did in Punjab?”, Singh asked.

Kejriwal, who is also the national convener of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is in the opposition in Punjab — a state where elections are scheduled in 2022, asked if the Punjab chief minister is acting under pressure from the BJP-led Central government.

“You are speaking BJP’s language. Are you forging a friendship with the BJP or is there some kind of pressure on you because the enforcement directorate (ED) has filed a case against your family members and sent notices to them?” Kejriwal said.

The Punjab CM hit back at his Delhi counterpart, accusing him of stooping to low level politics and indulging in brazen double-speak.

On Tuesday, Singh hit out at the AAP saying they had exhibited “shocking double standards on the farmers’ protests” by “shamelessly implementing the draconian farm law in the middle of the crisis while pretending to be standing with he farmers.

Kejriwal said it is no longer up to the states now to choose whether they want to implement these laws or not.

“Had the onus lied on the states then why would farmers from across the country come to Delhi to protest? They would demand withdrawal of these laws from their respective state governments. No state government can stop these laws,” he said.

“Captain Singh is aware of these facts and he still levelled these false allegations on me. Ever since the Delhi government denied to grant permission to turn the city’s 9 stadiums into temporary jails for the protesting farmers, the BJP-led Central government has been very angry with me,” Kejriwal said.

“But the Delhi government did not give permission for this. There was a lot of pressure on me to approve the proposal of the Delhi Police to make these temporary jails. But many a times life throws such situations on us when we listen to our conscience without fearing the consequences,” Kejriwal said.

The Punjab CM trashed the claim by Kejriwal and said that it the AAP leader, “whose survival depended on the central government”, was more worried about angering the central government than about the plight of the farmers.

The Punjab CM also lambasted Kejriwal for allegedly misleading the people on the committee formed by the central government last year on agricultural reforms. “Not once were these black laws discussed or even mentioned in the committee,” said Amarinder.

”It is evident that Kejriwal is only playing to the sentiments of the farmers now because his party has completely lost the political narrative in Punjab, where AAP has its eyes on the 2022 assembly elections,” Amarinder said.

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