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Friday, February 26, 2021

Who said what: ‘If farmer unions can sink differences and unite, why can’t we’

Mann said the Red Fort violence seemed to have been pre-planned. The AAP leader suggested that representatives of all parties should jointly go and meet the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister to collectively put pressure on them as the issue cannot be resolved without their intervention.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
February 3, 2021 9:00:48 am
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh chairs an all-party meeting on the issue of Central Farmer Legislations at Punjab Bhawan in Chandigarh, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Underlining the need for unanimity against the “big conspiracy hatched against Punjab”, PPCC president Sunil Jakhar pointed out that whenever state has been faced with any challenge, external or internal, everyone has stood together to counter it.

“Our political differences will stay, but in these testing times, we all need to come together again,” he said, terming as unfortunate BJP’s decision to boycott the meeting.

Pointing to pictures that appeared in the media of Delhi Police personnel armed with steel rods, cemented blockade and spikes, Jakhar said they were reminiscent of Chinese troops standing at Galwan Valley. He also lashed out at the Government of India over the name-calling, which had started from the first day of the agitation with farmers being called hooligans, terrorists, Khalistanis and anti-nationals.

Endorsing the views of Jakhar, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann said the way the barricades had been put up and roads dug up at the Delhi borders, it seemed that Punjab’s farmers were sitting across a hostile border, with Haryana trying to stop some enemy.

Mann said the Red Fort violence seemed to have been pre-planned. The AAP leader suggested that representatives of all parties should jointly go and meet the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister to collectively put pressure on them as the issue cannot be resolved without their intervention. “We can do our politics later,” the AAP leader said.

AAP’s Aman Arora suggested that Punjab should start procuring like Kerala, while Harpal Cheema said if Prime Minister does not give time for a meeting then they should all go and stage a dharna at his residence.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Prem Singh Chandumajra was of the opinion that an independent commission should be set up, under a retired judge, to expose the entire conspiracy behind the Red Fort violence on Republic Day, which could not simply be dismissed as the act of some miscreants. The role of the police, who beat up farmers, should also be probed, he further said.

Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal of SAD stressed that the deadlock between the Center and the farmers has to be broken. Dilution or erosion of the federal structure cannot be allowed, he said.

In a statement after the meeting, SAD senior leader Prem Singh Chandumajra said that the party delegation “made it clear that the Punjab government should take a principled stand on the issue since the Centre was trying to encroach on the rights of the state government. The issue was then included in the joint resolution prepared on the occasion.” He added: “The SAD also stressed the need to establish a People’s Commission or a State Commission to unravel the truth behind the incidents of January 26 as well as the conspiracies launched by central agencies to sabotage the peaceful Kisan Andolan…this demand was also accepted with Pradesh Congress President Sunil Jakhar supporting the proposal.”

The SAD delegation, the statement said, asked the CM to “waive off the debts of all 88 farmer families whose next of kin had been martyred during the course of the ongoing Kisan Andolan”.

Meanwhile, during the meeting, Sukhpal Singh Khaira (Punjab Ekta Party) urged the government to appoint an observer at the Delhi border and called for an inquiry by Delhi government into the R-Day violence.

Simranjit Singh Bains of Lok Insaaf Party stressed the need for a ceasefire among all parties, pointing out that “When farmer unions can sink their difference and unite, why can’t we?”

Jasvir Singh Garhi of the BSP extended his party’s unequivocal support to the resolution placed before all the parties.

CPI’s Comrade Bant Singh underlined the historic significance of the farmers’ struggle and said all Punjabis should come together to support those agitating against black laws to send a strong message to the Centre.

Comrade Sukhwinder Singh of CPI (M) said the Centre is targeting all opposition parties, thus necessitating a collective pushback. They want to create a Hindu Rashtra by trampling overall constitutional values, he said.

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