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‘To break up farmers’ protest, Capt said whatever BJP, Amit Shah wanted him to say’: Harpal Singh Cheema

CM Amarinder Singh has done no work in the past approximately four years in power and now he is looking for ways and means out of the farmer's protest and agitation so that people can forget about the misrule, said Harpal Singh Cheema.

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina | Chandigarh | December 15, 2020 12:17:32 am
Harpal Singh Cheema, CM Amarinder Singh, fuel feeHarpal Singh Cheema.He said that the farmers of Punjab require a large amount of diesel to do farming and state government was putting economic pressure on them by increasing its price with an intention of suppressing their agitation against the agri laws. (file)

CM Amarinder Singh, has trashed the statement of AAP leaders regarding Punjab power purchase contract with the Adani group. How do you respond to that?

Capt Amarinder Singh regularly tries to turn falsehoods into truth and vice versa. He tries to tell lies again and again in order to put palatable facts before the people. He lies to media too. He has done no work in past approximately four years in power and now he is looking for ways and means out of the farmer’s protest and agitation so that people can forget about the misrule. Congress itself had said that it will review and reject all old power purchase agreements. In Punjab Vidhan Sabha, the Chief Minister waived a booklet, I do not know of its authenticity, saying that he had a White Paper ready on power purchase agreements and added that he was yet to read it and will soon release it. It is almost a year since that session but the White Paper has not been released yet. This shows that the close association with power companies which was existing when Sukhbir Singh Badal was in power that is continuing till date. Which is why the CM of the state is lying on every issue which is power related.

Capt Amarinder has also launched sharp attacks on the Delhi CM and AAP National Convenor Arvind Kejriwal for not calling a special session of the Delhi Assembly to reject farm laws. It has also been alleged that Delhi government gave go ahead for FIRs against farmers. Your comments

Punjab is an agrarian state and Delhi is mostly a state with trading as source of revenue. But what has Punjab achieved by calling a special session? Whatever amendments that the Congress government has done in its session is just an oblique manner of helping and supporting the BJP.

Arvind Kejriwal is getting popular among farmers. The farmers are appreciating the arrangements done by the AAP government for them. I have myself been there. Arrangements have been made for toilets, for taking bath for hot water, automatic machines have been put in place for langar, ambulances and medical facilities have been provided for farmers too. All this is not digestible to the Congress and the Chief Minister.

Capt Amarinder went and met Home Minister Amit Shah. He came from the meeting and said whatever Amit Shah and the BJP wanted him to say in order to break up the farmers’ agitation and harm it. He said there was a danger to national security because of the protests. The agitation is taking place at Delhi border. It is against BJP government at Centre, what is the danger which Capt Amarinder is facing in Punjab? In other words, indirectly, the Chief Minister of Punjab is declaring the farmers of the state as terrorists and urban Naxals. BJP is also saying that the agitators are a threat and that they are Khalistanis and urban Naxals and BJP is being endorsed by the Punjab CM. This is because he is facing many cases of Enforcement Directorate. This is why he has been endorsing BJP stand for the past four years and now in farmers’ agitation he has been doing it more openly.

The Congress has alleged that the AAP government in Delhi is playing a double game with the farmers and has notified the new agriculture laws in Delhi. Is that true?

No new laws have been notified by the Delhi government. This is absolutely wrong. Any amendment done by state will have to make reference to those laws. The mandis have been bifurcated. That is all which has been done. No implementation of the new agriculture laws has taken place. As it is, there is very less agriculture land in Delhi.

Now that the state is entering the election mode, do you think the other issues raised by opposition like sand mafia, liquor mafia, SC scholarship scam and alleged inaction in cases of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib will get pushed back as the farmers agitation holds centre stage?

Absolutely not. The people of Punjab are watching everything very closely. Congress has promised in 2017 that 100 per cent loan waiver will take place, a job in every household, five marla plots for homeless and mafia raj will end. But Capt Amarinder is also running the government like Sukhbir Badal. Today, the media is focussed on farmers’ agitation but people of the state have been watching the progress on these issues. When the time comes they will seek answers from the Congress. Farmers have not forgotten about the loan waiver promise. If Capt Amarinder thinks he can fight the 2022 elections on the basis of farmers agitation then he is mistaken. The people taking part in the farmer protests raise slogans against Modi, Badals as well as Captain and hold them responsible. The farmers are not illiterate.

The government has failed to act against the perpetrators of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib and the Behbal Kalan firing. The government is now at the fag end of its tenure. Capt Amarinder Singh is trying his 100 per cent to protect the Badal family and he does not want to punish anyone.

It appears that AAP has also used the farmers’ agitation to its own benefit. Two of your dissident MLAs have come back to the fold. Your comments

AAP has been busy strengthening the organisation set up for some time now. Now, we have appointed all office bearers from block to state level. Now are next target is to form units in every village in next 15 days. After Delhi election win, the party has become strong in Punjab. After the farmers’ agitation ends you will find that AAP will be the only party acceptable to the people of the state.

It is often alleged now that AAP is the B team of BJP in that the party is also following a soft Hindutva policy with Arvind Kejriwal taking much publicised part in religious events. How do you think this affects the party in Punjab?

In Delhi, we are alleged to be BJPs B team, SAD alleges that we are B team of Congress and BJP says we are B team of Congress. Other parties allege many things. We are nobody’s B team, we are the A team of people. We work towards improving the basic issues of the people like health or education. No other party can match the work culture of AAP and this is why we are called names by them.

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