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PM should talk directly to farmers, Punjab BJP trying to defame farm stir, says Harsimrat

Harsimrat said the state BJP unit was being misused by the central leadership to defame farmers who were now being accused of goondaism purely because they were agitating peacefully for their demands.

By: Express News Service | January 8, 2021 10:58:16 am
Punjab cotton procurement, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Cotton Corporation of India, Minimum support price, indian express newsHarsimrat Kaur Badal. (File)

With seven rounds of talks between protesters and ministers failing to yield anything concrete, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should directly talk to agitating farmers, former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Thursday said while blaming the Punjab BJP of trying to defame the kisan aandolan by accusing peasants farmers of indulging in politics.

“After several rounds of meetings if ministers are unable to resolve the farmers’ issues then Prime Minister Narendra Modi should directly talk to protesting farmers,” Harsimrat said.

“It is strange that farmers are spending nights in open during the chilling winters and even then their demands are falling on deaf ears. Farmers are dying at the doorstep of the central government while protesting for their demands. Who will be responsible for deaths of ‘annadaatas’ of the country?,” she asked.

She termed as “extremely unfortunate” the statements by senior BJP leader Surjit Kumar Jyani. Harsimrat said the state BJP unit was being misused by the central leadership to defame farmers who were now being accused of goondaism purely because they were agitating peacefully for their demands.

“Attempts are being made by the Punjab BJP unit to malign the agitation by stating that farmers are not protesting for their rights but creating a movement to enter electoral politics. Such provocative statements will not serve the interests of the BJP as such crude attempts to divide farmers will only unite them further to seek repeal of the agri laws,” Harsimrat said while talking to mediapersons in Bathinda.

Stating that the BJP was adopting the same tactics with farmers that it had adopted with the SAD and her, Harsimrat said the Centre was holding sham talks with them for one and a half months with the sole purpose of tiring them out. “The same tactic was used with the SAD. I was kept in the dark about the real intentions of the Centre for two and a half months”.

She said what farmers have gone through in last six-seven weeks, is the same what she went through when she was a Union Minister. “…To avoid the situation which has arisen now and the protest, I kept pleading for months, whether it was in cabinet meetings or in direct meetings with top leaders of the central government that please listen to farmers before bringing these three bills as they are ‘annadaatas’ of the country, otherwise it would lead to agitations and protests. But my all pleas fell on to deaf ears,” she said while asking, Farmers are dying at the doorstep of the central government while protesting for their demands. Who will be responsible for deaths of ‘annadaatas’ of the country?”

She also made it clear that the SAD would not have any truck with the BJP. “This is not possible. The BJP has betrayed us as well as the farming community. It has even refused to reply to the letter written by SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal seeking repeal of the agri laws”.
She also attacked the Congress-led Punjab government and state chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh and said he has failed to fulfill his responsibility as guardian of the state and its people.

“Both the central and state governments are equal partners in this crime against farmers. While farmers were sitting on dharna, the Chief Minister of Punjab was having fun in his farmhouse. Captain Amarinder Singh has miserably failed to fulfil his responsibilities as chief minister of Punjab and as guardian of its people,” Harsimrat said.

(With PTI)

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