January 20, 2021 10:19:45 pm
Referring to an RTI response which he said had exposed “the lie of the Centre’s claim on the farm laws having been approved by the high-powered committee on agricultural reforms”, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said it was now obvious that the Akalis and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had been spreading a carnage of lies at the behest of the BJP-led Centre government, with whom the two parties were working in collusion to damage the interests of the farmers.
“Media reports citing a reply by the Planning Commission to a Right to Information (RTI) query suggest that the farm ordinances were promulgated and introduced in Parliament in June 2020 without the report of the chief ministers’ committee being ever appraised by the Governing Council of NITI Aayog,” Amarinder said in a written statement here.
The RTI response Amarinder referred to was in reply to the application by activist Anjali Bhardwaj.
Amarinder said the RTI reply was “in stark contrast to the claims of the Central government, which both Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and AAP had been shamelessly parroting in an apparent bid to promote the Bharatiya Janata Party’s anti-farmer agenda”.
He said Minister of State for Food Danve Raosaheb Dadarao had claimed before Lok Sabha that the high-powered committee had approved the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, which he (Captain Amarinder) had categorically rejected and which has now been proved wrong by the RTI reply.
“Far from basing the farm laws on the discussions and decisions of the committee, the fact, as validated by the RTI response, was that the Committee report had not even been placed till now before the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog,” Amarinder pointed out. “Once the report is made public, everyone will now know who said what in the Committee meetings, where Punjab was not even a part in the first one, while the second discussed some financial issues with [Punjab finance minister] Manpreet Badal in attendance and the third only participated by Secretary-level officials,” he added.
Lashing out at former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal for “questioning Rahul Gandhi on the basis of this false propaganda”, the CM said she continued to spread the lie even after the RTI response was extensively published in the media.
Demanding an unequivocal apology to the people of Punjab by Harsimrat, the CM asked her and the SAD, “Why did you not stop your ally from shoving these draconian laws on the farmers? Why did you and your party support the laws wholeheartedly all these months?”
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