Updated: October 29, 2021 8:38:16 am
Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat Thursday claimed that “only a few farmers” are agitating against the Centre’s three farm laws and majority are standing solidly behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decisions.
“Some people are using the farmers for fulfilling their own narrow vested interests. The Union government has spoken to the farmers’ representatives nearly 11 times. There are only few farmers who have been misled in an organised way. The farmers of the country are standing behind Narendra Modi’s decisions,” said Shekhawat.
The Union minister, who is also election in-charge for BJP in Punjab, was addressing the media after a meeting of party office-bearers here on the 2022 Assembly polls. Apart from Shekhawat, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, party state president Ashwani Sharma, national general secretary Tarun Chugh and state in-charge Dushyant Gautam were also present at the brainstorming session where the party also launched is poll slogan: ‘Nava Punjab Bhajpa de naal’ (New Punjab with the BJP).
Asked whether BJP will enter into a tie-up with any other party in Punjab, Shekhawat said he does not need to spell out the election strategy in a press conference. “Everything will come before you in due time,” he added.
On statements made by former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on a possible poll-pact with the BJP, Shekhawat was non-commital. “Only Capt Amarinder Singh can answer questions about the statement that he has made. But I want to make one thing clear that we will welcome every person who identifies himself with the ideology of BJP,” he said.
Commenting on Amarinder’s proposed meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah on the farmers’ issue, he said that whosoever wants to talk to the government for resolving the imbroglio is welcome.
Shekhawat refused to comment on allegations levelled against Amarinder’s friend and Pakistani journalist Aroosa Alam by Congress leaders who have called her an “ISI agent”. “BJP does not believe in making allegations of personal nature on anyone,” he said.
Asked why the Union government was not taking unilateral steps to reach out to farmers who are sitting on dharna for past one year, Shekhawat said, “The doors of our government and our hearts are will always remain open for the farmers. Whenever the farmer unions want to hold talks, we are willing to do so. However, talks can only take place on a level platform. There may be some people who may not want to hold talks due to political reasons,” he said.
Launching the party’s poll slogan, Shekhawat said, “BJP will end mafia raj and corruption and put in place a prosperous Punjab. We will ensure that Punjabiyat will remain the mainstay for the elections.”
He added that the people of Punjab are fed up with the policies of Congress, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Aam Aadmi Party. “The present state government’s rule has left the people of the state feeling cheated. They want an immediate change of governance,” he added.
Shekhawat listed many “initiatives taken by the Modi government” for the people of Punjab. “The PM has ensured that the investigation into 1984 riots cases is taken to logical conclusion. Kartarpur Sahib corridor is also an example of the initiative taken by the Modi government for our Sikh brethren. Names of individuals have also been removed from the black list where they were registered for the last 20 years,” he said.
The Union minister said cyber platforms were being used to spread unrest in the country. “While earlier tunnels used to be dug to push in weapons and drugs now drones are being used. Capt Amarinder Singh has also said in his press conference as to how drones are sending in weapons deep inside the state. Those who are saying that the increase in jurisdiction of BSF is an attack on the federal structure of the country should answer the question that when the 15 km limit did not cause any harm to the federal structure, how can the 50 km limit do so? BSF needs to have powers to chase such flying objects deeper in the territory. There should be no politics on it,” he said.
Listing out some of the measures that the BJP intends to take to bring investment into Punjab, Shekhawat mocked the investors’ meet organised by the Punjab government, saying that the state lacked the environment for attracting investments. “Business friendly and investor friendly eco system is missing in Punjab. BJP will ensure that this eco system is put in place and the industries which have moved out of Punjab will be brought back,” he claimed.
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