PUNJAB CHIEF Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Monday slammed his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar over his remarks on the Karnal lathicharge and blaming the Punjab government for backing the protesters, saying that Khattar’s remarks “had completely exposed his government’s anti-farmer agenda”.
Talking about the farmers’ agitation in Haryana, Khattar had Monday put the onus on the Punjab government and said, “I want to warn them that they have chosen a wrong place – Haryana”.
Amarinder said he would like to remind Khattar and his deputy Dushyant Chautala that the farmers who were protesting against the BJP meeting in Karnal when police rained lathis on them belonged to Haryana and not Punjab.
Blaming the BJP squarely for the farmers’ wrath, Amarinder in a statement said the crisis would not have assumed such grave proportions had the BJP, including the Haryana CM and deputy CM, “heeded the farmers’ concerns and empathised with their pain instead of taking refuge in shameful lies for the horrendous attacks on the peaceful farmers”. He slammed Khattar’s claim that the Haryana police used force only after the farmers disturbed the state’s law and order, stating that the viral video of the SDM giving explicit instructions to police personnel to bash up the farmers had nailed the CM’s lies. “How did the SDM know that the farmers intended to resort to stone pelting etc, as claimed by Khattar?” asked the Punjab CM.
“Can’t you see that the farmers of your own state are angry with you for your apathetic attitude towards them and your party’s stubborn refusal to repeal the farm laws?” he asked the Haryana leaders, adding that “the farmers were fighting for their survival and did not need provocation from Punjab or any other state to protect themselves and their families”.
“The sentiment of the entire country was with the farmers in the matter of the draconian and blatantly undemocratic farm laws imposed by the BJP-led central government in the midst of the Covid pandemic,” said Capt Amarinder, adding that the BJP’s adamant refusal to revoke the legislations reflected the vested interests of the party and its leadership, which had once again placed their crony capitalist friends over the common man.
“Repeal the farm laws instead of blaming Punjab for the mess your party has put the farming sector in,” said Amarinder, warning that the BJP would have to pay for their sins in the upcoming Assembly elections in various states, and in every poll thereafter. “The Khattar government’s repeated attempts to forcibly end the farmers’ agitation, and the derogatory and obnoxious terms used against farmers by various BJP leaders, will only backfire on their party,” he added.
Recalling that the farmers had held protests across Punjab for two months before shifting focus to Delhi borders, the CM said that his state had not witnessed a single incident of violence during the period. “Even recently, when sugarcane farmers staged protests, we negotiated with them and resolved the issue instead of using brute force to try and subjugate them,” he added.
Responding to Khattar’s remark on farmer leaders giving him (Captain Amarinder) ladoos after the resolution of the sugarcane farmers’ protest, Amarinder quipped: “You repeal the farm laws and not just the farmers but even I will share ladoos with you.”
Amarinder said he and his government were firmly with the farmers in their anti-farm laws stance and were even giving compensation and jobs to the families of those who have died at the Delhi borders because of the BJP’s follies. “A government or a political party which allows such tragic and totally avoidable loss of lives to continue under its watch cannot survive,” he added, sending out a strong warning to the BJP “to stand down on its ego and pay heed to the cries of their `annadaatas’ before it is too late”.