Deploring the Republic Day violence in Delhi, especially at the Red Fort, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday described it as “an insult to the nation” and said it had brought “shame” to the country and weakened farmers’ agitation.
Stressing that the Red Fort is a symbol of Independent India and thousands of Indians had given up their lives for India’s Independence and to see the national flag flying atop the fort, the Punjab CM said Mahatma Gandhi had fought the entire war of Independence through non-violence. “My head hangs in shame at what happened yesterday in the national capital,” he said.
“Whoever has done it (indulged in violence at Red Fort) has brought shame to the country and Delhi Police should investigate and take action,” Capt Amarinder said, adding that the Centre should also probe into the involvement, if any, of any political party or nation while making sure that no farm leaders are unnecessarily targeted or harassed by the police.
The CM declared that the future of Punjab’s youth lay in peace and recent developments had slowed down investment in the state.
Even as he demanded action against the perpetrators of such violence, who he said were not farmers but misguided youth indulging in symbolism, Capt Amarinder said that such problems will continue to erupt if the Narendra Modi-led central government fails to listen to the voice of the people.
A government for the people and by the people cannot ignore the will of the people, the CM said, adding that the performance of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre will not be acceptable in the next elections to the majority in a country where 70 per cent of the population is of farmers.
The BJP should realise that stability and secularism, encompassing all minorities, is the key to inclusive growth of the nation and playing the Hindutva card will not lead to progress, Capt Amarinder remarked.
“The (Centre’s) farm laws are wrong, which is why we passed our own laws,” the CM said, pointing out that Agriculture is a state subject, yet “we were not asked” before the Centre brought such controversial legislations.
Maintaining that these farm laws will sound the “death knell” for the economic empowerment of the future generations of the farmers ~ who have been agitating against these central agri legislations for months ~ the CM said private corporates were even now functioning in Punjab and could continue coming into the state without destroying the established system of the minimum support price (MSP), “arhtiyas” (grain commission agents) and the Public Distribution System (PDS).