Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Friday welcomed the Union government’s decision to allow the farmers to enter Delhi to exercise their democratic right to protest but asked why the Centre was waiting for December 3 for holding talks with peasants when the situation is “getting out of control now”.
“The voice of farmers cannot be muzzled indefinitely. Centre should immediately initiate talks with Kisan Union leaders to defuse the tense situation at the Delhi borders. Why wait till December 3 when the situation is getting out of hand now?” said Amarinder in a tweet. Follow Farmers’ Protest Live Updates
The Delhi Police Friday used tear gas shells and water cannons to stop farmers from entering the national capital as part of their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march to protest against the Centre’s new farm laws. Despite heavy security deployment, groups of farmers from Punjab managed to reach near two Delhi border points on Friday morning after breaking police barricades in Haryana.
Amarinder further asked the Centre to show statesmanship and accept the farmers’ demand for assured minimum support price. “Central govt needs to show statesmanship and accept the farmers’ demand for assured MSP, which is the basic right of every farmer. If they can give verbal assurance I fail to understand why they can’t make it a legal obligation of the GoI,” said the Punjab chief minister.
The Punjab CM also slammed his Haryana counter Manohar Lal Khattar for the continued use of “brute force” to stop protesting farmers even after the Union government allowed them to enter Delhi.
“Though the central government has allowed the farmers to enter the national capital to exercise their democratic right to protest, the Haryana government is engaged in a confrontationist approach against the farmers moving towards Delhi. What’s the need for such harsh measures? This barbarism needs to stop right now @mlkhattar ji,” Amarinder said in a tweet.
Expressing shock at the methods used by the Khattar government in its bid to stop the farmers, including destruction of public property by digging up the national highway, Amarinder said, “The farmers did not inflict even an iota of damage to any public property over the past three months of their protest, and here is a state government that is brazenly and shamelessly digging up roads made of public money.”
Taking another jibe, Amarinder, in a tweet, said, “Impressed by remarkable restraint shown by farmers in face of @mlkhattar govt’s and Haryana police’s brutality. Their exemplary behaviour shows that farmers are not interested in confrontation, they only want to be heard, which is their constitutional right”.
Appreciating the farmers, he said they did not get provoked and had not created any law & order problem even after being subjected to teargas and water cannons in this cold weather. He said this showed that all the farmers desired was to take their voice to Delhi. “The farmers were neither misguided nor out to indulge in creating any problems for the people of India,” he asserted.
Earlier, Thousands of farmers who had gathered at various entry points into the national capital were allowed in to hold a peaceful protest at a north Delhi ground. The concession came after hours of a standoff that saw police using teargas shells, water cannons and multi-layer barriers to block the protesters and the farmers pelting stones and breaking barricades in some places in their determination to push through.
As the issue snowballed, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said no government in the world can stop farmers fighting the “battle of truth”.
In a tweet in Hindi, Gandhi said the prime minister should remember that whenever arrogance takes on truth, it gets defeated. “No government in the world can stop the farmers who are fighting the battle of truth,” the former Congress chief said.
“The Modi government will have to agree to the demands of the farmers and take back the black laws. This is just the beginning!” he tweeted with the hashtag ‘IamWithFarmers’.
Party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too took a dig at PM. Posting a video on Twitter of water cannons being used on protesting farmers, she, in a tweet in Hindi, said, “To suppress the voice of farmers — Water was rained on them. Roads are being dug up to stop them. But the government is not ready to show or tell them that where MSP being a legal right is written”.
The prime minister who is concerned about ‘one nation, one election’, should also implement “one nation, one treatment”, the Congress general secretary said.
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