Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet members visited the Singhu border to meet protesting farmers and appealed to people to join Tuesday’s Bharat bandh.
The AAP, like several other opposition parties, has supported the farmers’ call for the bandh.
“AAP is supporting the farmers’ call for Bharat bandh tomorrow. All our volunteers from across the country will participate. I appeal to the people from across the nation to participate in the bandh peacefully,” he said. Party members will hold a demonstration at ITO at 11 am on Tuesday.
After he surveyed the sanitation and water availability at the site, Kejriwal said he had not come as a CM, but a sewadar.
AAP MLAs have been visiting the protest site for several days.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, health minister Satyendar Jain, social justice minister Rajendra Pal Gautam and food and civil supplies minister Imran Hussain also accompanied the CM.
“I have seen that the toilets have been set up and sanitation has also been ensured. The water will be diverted inside with the help of water pipes and motors. I have seen the living and food arrangements,” Kejriwal said.
The Aam Aadmi Party, which is the principal opposition in Punjab, has expressed open support for the farmers’ agitation. It has also attacked Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for “failing to raise a voice” against the bills at an appropriate time.
Farmer bodies at the border have not allowed politicians to take the stage and deliver speeches, with a committee of volunteers deciding who gets to speak and for how long. Kejriwal, too, did not deliver a speech.
“I am not present here as a Chief Minister, I have come here as a sewadar, I have come here to serve the farmers. The farmers put in all their hard work and efforts and grow food for us. They are in a huge problem today, and it is the responsibility of all the citizens of the country to stand with the farmers and work for their service,” he told reporters later.
He reiterated that he was under immense pressure to allow nine stadiums in the national capital to be used as temporary jails for protesting farmers, but he refused.
Meanwhile, Delhi Agriculture Minister Gopal Rai met the Central government’s agriculture minister along with the ministers of Punjab and Haryana to discuss how to increase income of farmers.
“The central government should implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission on the minimum support price (MSP)… The Centre must also listen to the demands of protesting farmers,” Rai said.
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