Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday castigated the Centre for its intimidatory tactics against arhityas supporting the agitating farmers, and warned that such “draconian measures” will further aggravate the angst of the people against the BJP.
Terming Income Tax (I-T) raids against some Punjab arhtiyas as an obvious pressure tactic to curb their democratic right and freedom, Amarinder said these oppressive actions will backfire against the ruling BJP at the Centre.
The Chief Minister said it was evident that having failed to persuade, mislead and divide the farmers into ending their prolonged protest against the black farm laws, the central government was now trying to weaken their struggle by targeting the arhtiyas, who have been actively supporting the agitation since Day 1.
The I-T raids were conducted at the premises of several big arthityas of Punjab within a span of just four days of issuing notices, without waiting for responses to the notices, Amarinder noted, dubbing it a clear debasement of the due process of law. Even the local police were not informed or taken into confidence, as is the normal procedure, and instead, the CRPF was used to provide security during the raids by the I-T teams, he further pointed out.
“What is this if not a clear case of vendetta politics by the Centre, which is hell-bent on demolishing the farmers’ protest by hook or by crook?” asked the Chief Minister.
“These bullying actions of the government do not augur well for the world’s largest democracy,” he added.
Pointing out that even the Supreme Court had upheld the people’s right to protest peacefully, the Chief Minister said the central government’s actions amounted to gross violation of the apex court’s directions and the spirit of the Constitution, which granted every citizen the right to raise his voice.
The Chief Minister said it was unfortunate that instead of hearing the voice of the farmers, who have been battling cold and Covid for more than 3 weeks now (with nearly 2 dozen losing their lives during the protest), the central government was resorting to all kinds of cheap manoeuvres to break their will.
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