Even as he led the Punjab Assembly in seeking unconditional withdrawal of the farm laws, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday said farmers and farm workers of the state are not anti-nationals.
Calling for an immediate end to attempts to defame the dynamic Punjabi farmers by branding them miscreants or ultras, the CM said “they are patriotic and nationalistic – while one son ploughs the fields in the village, the other brother is busy guarding the country’s borders”.
“These (Punjabis) are the same people who gave their lives for the country, along with soldiers from other states too, in Galwan last year protecting the sovereignty of our country,” said the CM, urging the Centre to ensure that this defamation campaign against farmers is immediately ended.
Pointing out that despite 11 rounds of discussions, the government of India was unmoved and unconcerned about the protests of the farmers across the country, and had not taken any positive step to meet their demands, the CM said that “Instead, the statements and allegations of some of the leaders who are not familiar with the ground realities have aggravated the situation and have further anguished the farmers.”
Drawing the attention of the House to some of the most reprehensible statements of the BJP leaders, at the Centre and in Haryana, the CM said it was shameful that they were heading the governments at the national level and in the neighbouring states.
Their statements raised the worries and apprehensions not only of the farmers and farm workers but also of our government as these do not augur well for our future, the Chief Minister strongly condemning the use of terms “anti-national and Khalistanis” against the farmers.
Terming Haryana CM conduct “most regrettable”, Amarinder lashed out at Manohar Lal Khattar’s claim on his government (Haryana) having “inputs” on presence of Khalistani separatists in the ongoing farmers’ agitation. “If the Haryana CM has any firm information on separatist, why does he not give such information to his party’s government in Delhi, instead of defaming the Punjabi farmers,” asked Amarinder.
Meanwhile, introducing a resolution calling for repeal of the farm laws by the Centre, the CM said these laws cannot be accepted. The resolution, which was later passed unanimously by those present in the House, demanded the unconditional withdrawal of the farmlLaws in the interest of the farmers and the state, and to continue with the existing system of MSP-based government procurement of food grains.
While Shiromani Akali Dal legislators were suspended by the Speaker over unruly behaviour while the CM was speaking on the issue, AAP members had staged a walk-out before it was put to vote.