November 9, 2020 10:55:41 pm
As the deadlock continues between the Centre and Punjab over running of goods trains to the state, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday appealed to the farmers to completely lift their rail blockade to allow passenger trains also to ply in the state, in view of the initiative taken by the Central government to discuss the issue of the farm laws.
The Centre has called a meeting of agitating farmer organisations on November 13. Three Union Ministers, comprising Rajnath Singh, Narendra Tomar and Piyush Goyal, will talk to the farmers.
In a statement issued on Monday evening, the CM urged the farmer organisations to take note of the Centre’s move to hold talks with them, and also take into account the inconvenience being caused to lakhs of Punjabis, including soldiers, who were unable to come home for Diwali due to the suspension of train movement in the state. Ending the rail blockade would facilitate these soldiers and others to join their families in the celebrations, he said.
Amarinder expressed the hope that the talks convened by the Government of India, scheduled for November 13, would pave the way for early resolution of the crisis triggered by the Central legislation on agriculture. The move indicated that the Centre was open to finding an amicable solution to the problems facing the farmers in the wake of the enactment of these laws, he said.
The farmers’ anger had clearly reached the Central government, which seemed to be finally prepared to hear them out, the CM said. Now that the message that they wanted to communicate through their blockade had reached the Centre, the unions should step back from their agitation and join the talks with the spirit of resolving the issue, he said.
Pointing out that his government had stood with the farmers in the fight against the farm laws despite the massive economic and other problems caused to the state and its people, Captain Amarinder said he was confident that the unions would now respond by supporting its efforts to ease the situation in the larger interest of all stakeholders. The only solution to the imbroglio caused by the Central legislation lay in peaceful and amicable talks between all concerned, he said, urging the farmer unions to respond with a positive approach.
The CM, however, assured the unions that his government would not allow the interests of the farmers to be compromised at any cost, as these were linked inexorably to the interests of the state. The state government would continue to extend whatever support is needed by the farmers to resolve the crisis, he added.
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