There was unanimity at the Punjab all-party meeting, convened by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh here today, on the need to sink all political differences to stand unitedly with the farmers in their fight against the Centre’s new farm laws.
Taking serious note of the “substantial delay” by the Narendra Modi government in resolving the months-long crisis over these controversial agriculture laws, a resolution passed at the Punjab all-party meeting urgedq the Centre to redress the grievances of farmers by immediately withdrawing the three farm laws.
Condemning the “sponsored violence in Delhi” on the Republic Day, the meeting decided that an all-party delegation will go to the national capital to meet Prime Minister Modi and raise the issue along with other matters of concern over the farmers’ agitation against the three agri laws. The all-party meeting, called by the CM to evolve consensus on the issue, demanded an appropriate judicial inquiry to investigate the “laxity and complicity” of those responsible for maintaining peace and order at the Red Fort.
Through the resolution, the Punjab parties urged the Modi government “to withdraw all cases registered against the farmers, farm workers, and journalists, and other peaceful agitators, and release all those detained by the police or any other agencies.” The missing agitators should also be traced and restored to their respective families without any delay, they said.
The resolution also called upon the Centre “to make the Minimum Support Price (MSP) a statutory right of the farmers, and continue with the procurement of foodgrains by the Centre through FCI and other such agencies as at present,” adding that “the procurement by arthiyas may also continue as earlier”.
The meeting was boycotted by the Bharatiya Janata Party but attended by the ruling Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Lok Insaaf Party, SAD Democratic Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist).
The AAP, however, walked out at the fag end of the meeting over their demand for sending out Punjab Police to Delhi borders for providing security to farmers. The meeting started with a two-minute silence in remembrance of those who had died during the farmers’ agitation so far. As of date, 88 farmers from Punjab had reportedly lost their lives in these protests, said the CM.
Noting that, as a result of the undue delay by the central government in resolving the crisis, “not only the peaceful agitators and their families are suffering but several farmers and farm workers have lost their lives causing irreparable damage to them and anguish amongst the people of the country,” the resolution also demanded withdrawal of the new Environment Protection (Amendment) Act, 2020, while urging the Centre to drop the proposal to enact the proposed new Electricity (Amendment) Act, 2020.
The resolution lauded farmers’ leader Rakesh Tikait for his contribution to the farmers’ struggle, and also thanked Haryana farmers for their support to Punjab’s farmers in the agitation.