Speaking to a gathering of party workers who observed a day-long fast in support of farmers, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the new farm laws not only go against the interests of farmers, but also against those of the common man, and that they give capitalists the “license to increase prices”.
Citing the example of onion prices, he elaborated, “Inflation takes place because some people buy and hoard it in large quantities. There is low supply in the market and then onions become expensive. The law permits hoarding.” He also said farmers are doing the country a favour by protesting at the borders. “Farmers are protesting non-violently. Leaders have been calling them agents of China and Pakistan… anti-nationals and terrorists,” he said, urging politicians not to defame farmers.
Reiterating his party’s stance on the farm laws, he said, “When we were asked to convert stadiums to jails, we refused. Many of our MLAs are at the protests without an AAP symbol. I have also been to the border as a sewadar.”
He further said the BJP was rattled to see his support: “Last week, when the farmers called a Bharat bandh, I wanted to visit them and participate. But the BJP government locked my doors and did not allow me to go out.” Delhi Police has denied claims of the CM being put under house arrest.
As Monday’s fast began, Kejriwal tweeted at 10 am, “Fasting is sacred. Wherever you are, fast for our farmer brothers. Pray for their success. In the end, they will emerge victorious.”
As farmers held a day-long fast at the protest sites, at the AAP office too, over 1,000 volunteers observed a fast from 9 am to 5 pm. Anil Gautam, an AAP worker from Gokalpur, said, “I am originally from Bulandshahr and I come from a line of farmers… we are all in solidarity with them.”
Sourabh Gupta, a worker from Shalimar Bagh, said there was no tea served at the party office: “We have not eaten anything since morning. Besides party workers, many are observing a fast from home.” AAP worker Anil Sharma from Greater Kailash added: “We get food because of farmers. So it is unfair they should struggle at the borders while we live our lives normally. This is why so many of us decided to fast today.”
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