February 3, 2021 8:29:14 am
Accusing Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh of being insensitive to the cause of the farmers and being “ non-committal on providing security to the protesters at Delhi borders”, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders walked out of an all-party meeting convened to evolve a consensus on the Centre’s agriculture laws and the farmers’ agitation.
The CM later said it has “exposed the double standards” of Arvind Kejriwal’s party, which continued to put its “vested political interests” above those of the farmers.
AAP state president Bhagwant Mann, Leader of Opposition (LoP) Harpal Singh Cheema, and MLAs Aman Arora and Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer participated in an all-party meeting. Minutes before the resolution in support of the agitating farmers was to be passed, they walked out of the meeting in protest against the CM’s refusal to accept their demand for deployment of the Punjab Police personnel to protect the farmers protesting at the Delhi borders.
Later, interacting with the mediapersons, Mann said, “The Chief Minister is insensitive and has been ignoring farmers every demand….We wanted him to provide security to our farmers… It is on this issue that the AAP decided to walk out of the meeting”.
Harpal Cheema said that Amarinder Singh never sought time from the Prime Minister or the Home Minister on the issue of farmers. Cheema said the people of Punjab sitting at the borders of Delhi were feeling helpless as no one was speaking in their favour. He said the BJP was sending its ‘goons’ to intimidate and attack the farmers and on the other hand, the Delhi Police was arresting the farmers and registering false cases.
“Thousands of youths have been arrested and sent to jail, while hundreds are still missing,” he said, adding that the Punjab government should set up a help desk there and representatives of all parties should be included in it.
The AAP leaders said that in the last all-party meeting on June 24, it was proposed that a delegation would meet PM Narendra Modi, but that never happened.
Amarinder, however, hit back at the opposition party saying, “After pretending for nearly four hours that they were one with the rest of Punjab in supporting the farmers in their hour of crisis, the AAP members walked out over a demand which no state government can accept.”
“Clearly, they had no intention, from the outset, of supporting the state and its farmers, which explains their convenient walkout minutes before the resolution was to be voted on,” he alleged.
Terming AAP’s actions as part of a “well-planned” strategy, the CM said, “How is it possible that a party with pretensions of being a national outfit does not know that no state police cannot simply barge into another state. How can a party that claims to be pro-farmer walk out of a crucial meeting called to evolve a consensus on a critical issue relating to the farmers over a patently unlawful demand”.
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