Strongly condemning Haryana’s forcible attempts to stop farmers from marching to Delhi in protest against the farm laws, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh warned the BJP-led government against pushing them to the brink.

Urging the Manohar Lal Khattar government to allow the agitated farmers to pass through the national highway to take their voice to Delhi peacefully,  Amarinder questioned the need to stop them from proceeding.

“Why is Khattar government in Haryana stopping the farmers from moving to Delhi? The tyrannical use of brute force against peacefully protesting farmers is totally undemocratic and unconstitutional,” he said asserting that “the hands that feed the nation deserve to be held, not pushed aside.”

Terming it a “sad irony” that on Constitution Day, the constitutional right of farmers to protest was being suppressed, the CM flayed the use of force by the Haryana police which had used water cannons and tear gas in a bid to stop the Punjab farmers from marching through the state and had not allowed farmers from Haryana to move out of their villages.

“What was the need for violence?” Amarinder asked, pointing out that the farmers had been protesting for the past two months in Punjab without any problem, even though the state had suffered crores of rupees in losses. There had been no violence or law and order problem in Punjab, he observed, terming the Haryana government’s actions as provocative.

“For nearly two months farmers have been protesting peacefully in Punjab without any problem. Why is Haryana govt provoking them by resorting to force? Don’t the farmers have the right to pass peacefully through a public highway?” he asked.

The CM urged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) central leadership to direct their state governments not to indulge in such strong-arm tactics against the farmers. Let the farmers be heard by the central government, let their concerns be addressed, he said, calling for peaceful resolution of the farmers’ concerns in the national interest.

On Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s condemnation of the use of force against farmers in Haryana, Amarinder raised doubts over the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader’s sincerity towards the farmers’ cause, asking why the Delhi government had failed to bring its own laws in the state Assembly to counter the dangers of the central farm laws.

“Kejriwal is just playing to the gallery. The fact is that he neither cares for the farmers nor is interested in protecting them,” said the Punjab CM urging his Delhi counterpart to stand firmly with the farmers instead of indulging in double standards if he really cared about them.