Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh today welcomed the decision of agitating farmers’ unions to allow the movement of goods trains in the state, saying it was in the interest of the state’s economy and its revival.
The Punjab Assembly had yesterday unanimously passed a resolution and three new state Bills to negate the Narendra Modi government’s “anti-farmers” agriculture sector laws. Punjab thus became the first state in the country to formally reject the Centre’s controversial farm laws.
Thanking the farmer unions for heeding his appeal, the CM today said the farmers had shown their love and concern for the people of Punjab with this move, as it will allow the state to get its much needed coal supplies.
He pointed out that the people of Punjab had been facing a total power shutdown as a result of coal shortage due to the train blockade, and the decision of the unions had come as a major relief to them.
Capt Amarinder said the farmers organisations, with this decision, had also ensured that the industry would not have to suffer more but would get back on the path to revival. The “Rail Roko” (train blockade) stir of the Punjab farmers bodies — which has been going on across the state for several weeks in protest against the Centre’s contentious farm laws — has caused huge financial losses to the industry, thus compounding the crisis triggered by the Covid pandemic.
The CM said the easing of goods trains‘ blockade will help Punjab replenish its “critically low“ urea supplies, thus catering to the urgent need of the farming community for fertilisers. Capt Amarinder noted that the farmers had not let down the state and that he would personally ensure that his government never lets them down. He iterated his commitment to save their livelihood and lives, both of which were facing acute danger as a result of the Centre’s “black farm laws”, he said.
The CM, however, urged the farmers unions to also lift the blockade of the passenger trains, which were meant to provide transportation to tens of thousands of Punjabis every day, especially during these festival times.
The people of Punjab want to come back home to celebrate the festival season with their families, Capt Amarinder said, appealing to the agitating farmers to allow the movement of passenger trains too in the interest of Punjabis.
The CM said his government would continue to support the farmers in their fight against the central laws, which they could continue through dharnas and other democratic means without causing inconvenience to the people of their state.