Updated: February 15, 2021 5:56:11 am
PUNJAB CHIEF Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Sunday expressed shock over the recent statements of senior BJP leaders, including the Union and Haryana agriculture ministers, on the deaths of protesting farmers, saying that the party had lost the “moral and ethical right to continue to rule at the Centre and in the state”.
Earlier this month, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had replied in the negative when asked in the Lok Sabha if the government proposes to give compensation to the families of farmers who have died during the ongoing agitation.
“It was deplorable that a government that can spend Rs 8 crore on publicity campaign for the new farm laws cannot give compensation to the families of farmers who have sacrificed their lives in fighting for their rights,” said Amarinder on Sunday.
“The BJP-led government at the Centre should step down in the interest of the nation, as should the ML Khattar government in Haryana,” said Amarinder, slamming Tomar’s and Haryana Agriculture Minister J P Dalal’s statements on the deaths of farmers protesting against the farm laws at the borders of the national capital for more than two months now.
“Punjab alone has paid compensation to families of as many as 102 farmers who have died in these protests,” said the CM, lashing out at Tomar over “his outrageous statement citing Delhi Police information that only two farmers have died and one has died by suicide”. Even the media has released details of more than 200 farmers (from various states) who have lost their lives in this agitation, he said.
These statements of Tomar and Dalal reflect a shocking lack of concern on the part of the BJP leadership towards the farmers who have been braving the elements and the lathis of Delhi and Haryana Police in their fight for survival, said Captain Amarinder.
Referring to Tomar’s claim that the Centre has no count of the deceased farmers, the chief minister said it was appalling that a government which claimed to be working in the interest of the farmers does not even know how many farmers had died in the protests against their farm laws, just as they had no idea, some months ago, on how many migrants had died in the country during the lockdown. “What kind of government is this that has no data (or so it claims) of people dying on the streets in their own country,” asked Captain Amarinder.
“Either the agriculture minister deliberately lied on the floor of the House or simply does not care to even ascertain the facts and figures,” said the Chief Minister, adding that this was not the first time a central minister had made a false statement in Parliament on the issue of the farm laws or the farmers’ agitation.
Another minister had earlier stated falsely in the House that Punjab had been taken on board on the farm laws in its capacity as a member of the agricultural reforms committee, which was also a blatant lie, recalled Captain Amarinder, adding that not once were these legislations even mentioned in that committee, in which Punjab was included after one meeting had already taken place.
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