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Amarinder slams Kejriwal over barricading of farmers’ sites

Charging that AAP was with BJP against farmers, Punjab CM questions how Delhi’s roads were allowed to be dug up to turn farmers’ protest sites into fortresses when AAP govt controls city roads

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

A day after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) walked out of the Punjab all-party meeting on the protesting farmers’ issue, chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh claimed that the people of Punjab should not expect anything better from a party “whose chief was on record touting the farm laws as the most revolutionary step in the agriculture sector in 70 years”.

The act of the AAP walkout had not only shown the party in its “true colours” but also bared their “lie” on AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal’s video, which purportedly showed the Delhi CM narrating the “benefits” of the Centre’s controversial farm laws in a media interview, charged Capt Amarinder. The AAP has rejected this video as “doctored”.

Dismissing the AAP’s assertion about the video being doctored, the Punjab CM said that “given their track record of repeated U-turns on the issue, it was amply clear where the party’s sympathies lie on this issue”.

“How can one believe them after their continued theatrics over the farm laws and the farmers’ agitation, including their walk-out from yesterday’s meeting?” Capt Amarinder asked, claiming that this was not the first time the AAP has shown its “double standards” on the issue.

Citing the presence of Punjab AAP member Amrik Micky at the Red Fort during the violence in Delhi on 26 January in the course of protesting farmers’ tractor rally, the CM charged that there was “no doubt” now that the AAP was “hand-in-glove with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)” in the alleged conspiracy to destabilise and sabotage the farmers’ peaceful agitation against the Centre’s farm laws.

“What have they done to help or support the farmers in all these months?” Amarinder asked, charging that the string of AAP actions in recent weeks proved that their sympathies were not with the farmers but with the BJP and their crony capitalists. “Why else did the Kejriwal government in Delhi notify the implementation of one of the black farm laws back in November? Why else have they allowed the national capital’s roads to be dug up and the farmers’ protest sites be barricaded like fortresses, instead of exercising their powers since the control of the city’s roads lies with the Delhi government and not with the Centre?” Capt Amarinder asked.

“It is ridiculous that a party which cannot stop its own property from being taken over in this shocking manner, in a state where it is in power, should walk out from a profarmer meeting in Punjab demanding that our police should go to their state, against all rules and laws,” the Punjab CM remarked.

It’s evident that the “whole drama” over security deployment at the Delhi border was enacted by the AAP only to divert attention from its own lapses and role in the events triggered by the farmers’ protest in Delhi over the past few days, he added.

Capt Amarinder also took a dig at the Delhi CM for taking more than a week to release the list of farmers thrown, under the Delhi government’s very nose, into the Tihar Jail, which is also under their own control. “And yet you have the gall to claim you care for, and are concerned about the farmers,” he said.