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Desperate Centre trying to shift blame for Delhi violence, says Capt

Amarinder alleged that the agitating farmers were instigated by supporters and members of Javadekar's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in collusion with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
January 28, 2021 11:18:02 pm
Capt Amarinder Singh, farmers protestPunjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh (File)

A day after Prakash Javadekar blamed the Congress for the violence that broke out during the farmers’ tractor parade in the national capital on Republic Day, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Thursday hit out at the Union minister Prakash Javadekar terming the allegations as “disgraceful and desperate” and attempt to shift blame.

Amarinder alleged that the agitating farmers were instigated by supporters and members of Javadekar’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in collusion with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

“Workers and supporters of the BJP and AAP, and not the Congress, have been caught on camera waving the ‘Nishan Sahib’ at the Red Fort,” said Amarinder.

Javadekar had on Wednesday had also claimed that the Congress has always worked to incite farmers during the ongoing agitation and had said that India will not tolerate its flag’s insult at Red Fort.

“Not a single Congress leader or member was seen at the Red Fort indulging in any kind of lawlessness,” Amarinder said. He said farmers too were not responsible for the violence, which was caused by “anti-social” elements who had infiltrated the tractor parade.

The Centre should also get a free and fair probe conducted into the possible role of any political party, or even a third country as is being alleged by BJP’s own leaders, to ensure that the guilty are punished and the genuine farmers are not unnecessarily harassed, he added.

Amarinder’s comments came even as Delhi Police named actor Deep Sidhu, who had worked with BJP MP Sunny Deol during latter’s Lok Sabha poll campaign, as one of the main instigators of the violence. Amrik Singh Micky, an AAP member, was also spotted at the violence site, alleged Amarinder.

The chief minister also lashed out at Javadekar for accusing Congress leaer Rahul Gandhi of inciting violence. “Did the Congress leader ask anyone to climb the Red Fort? He did not. It was the BJP and AAP men who did that,” Amarinder said, adding that Gandhi had promptly condemned the violence and made it clear that it will not solve the crisis.

“These allegations are nothing but an attempt to cover-up the BJP’s role in the violence and the central government’s utter failure to manage the situation, which they had created in the first place with the unilateral implementation of the black farm laws,” he said.

The Union minister had said that the opposition party could not escape its responsibility as it was in power in Punjab while adding that the state government should have arrested criminal elements as a preventive measure as people drove their tractors from there to the protest venue in Delhi.

Permission for the tractor march was officially given by the Delhi Police and there was no reason for the Punjab government to prevent farmers from joining the rally, said the chief minister.

“How could I stop peaceful farmers from going to their own national capital to exercise their democratic right of protest,” the chief minister said, adding “if there was a ban on the movement of farmers to the Delhi borders, the central government, of which Javadekar is a part, should have directed their BJP chief minister in Haryana to stop them on the way”.

Pinning the blame for the violence on the Punjab government or on the Congress is clearly a “diversionary tactic” on the part of the BJP leadership, he added.

Amarinder Singh pointed out that all those months when the farmers were blocking railway tracks in Punjab, he had been reaching out repeatedly to the central leadership, including the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of ministers, to intervene and resolve the crisis.

“But nobody heeded us, nobody listened to me or to the agitating farmers, fighting for their survival,” he said. This “insensitivity” of the BJP and the central government to the pain and anguish of the farmers is causing a “heavy loss” for the nation, said the chief minister. He urged the Centre to shun ego and accept the farmers’ justified demand for repeal of the agri laws. “If the Centre can put the laws in abeyance for two years, why can’t they revoke them and bring fresh legislations after due discussions with the farmers and other stakeholders,” he asked.

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