TAKING TO Facebook Live on Friday to counter criticism after meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah and raising national security issues in the backdrop of the farmers’ protest, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said, “Kejriwal nu jhooth bolan di aadat hai” (Kejriwal likes to tells lies) and “Khattar nu lokaan nu kuttan di” (Khattar likes to beat up people).
He also took a dig at former Union minister and SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal, saying that she is “also known for telling lies. I do not know what is her education. She is also like that.”
‘I am not sacred of ED’
Responding to her remark that he had gone to meet the home minister for his case being handled by the Enforcement Directorate, the Punjab CM said, “I am not scared of ED.” He claimed that all opposition parties in the state were playing politics with the lives of farmers to further their own interests.
Asserting that he and the entire Congress party was solidly with the farmers and the Centre must listen to them and accept their demands, Amarinder lambasted key opposition players, from Prakash Singh Badal, Sukhbir and Harsimrat, to Kejriwal and Khattar, for their “flip-flops” and for “making a mockery” of the fight of the farmers, who were sitting out in the cold on the roads to get their rightful due.
“For 13 years, I have been going to courts because of the cases initiated against me by the Badals. I am not bothered about ED. I can go to courts and fight for another 13 years,” he said, reacting to Harsimrat Badal’s charge that he was under ED pressure. “All these Badals are alike, and they are all liars,” he said, advising the Akali leaders to “stop lying and tell the truth” as “the people know what you are”.
‘My duty to tell home minister that we have a mischievous neighbour’
Clarifying his stand on the issue of national security, he said, “It is my duty to tell the home minister that the state’s Bills are important for the future of Punjab and those should get assent. We are solidly with the farmers. But it is my duty to tell him that we have a mischievous neighbour.”
He said that Thursday’s meeting was the third time he had met Shah, including once to congratulate him becoming home minister and the other two times for the sake of Punjab.
He said that the Badals had publicly done a U-turn on the issue. “I don’t know why Prakash Singh Badal got the Padma Bhushan in the first place,” he quipped, reacting to Badal Senior’s decision to return the medal to the Government of India. Noting that Gen Harbaksh Singh had got the Padma Vibhushan for winning the 1965 war, Capt Amarinder asked: “What war did Prakash Singh Badal fight or what sacrifice did he make for the community?…Stop politicking on this…these theatrics might have worked 40 years ago but they won’t work now.”
“All his life, Prakash Singh Badal has been claiming that he represents the interests of the farmers. Then why did his party support the central ordinances after initially opposing them, and then did an about-turn and started publicly criticising the legislations?” asked the CM.
Amarinder further said that as a member of the Union Cabinet, Harsimrat had been very much a part of the meeting that passed the farm ordinances. “Is she illiterate that she can’t read?” he asked.
Lashing out at Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal for “twisting” his statement on national security, the chief minister said it was clearly made in reference to Pakistan and as home minister of Punjab, it was his duty to apprise the Union home minister of the dangers of the prolonged agitation.
“Kejriwal nu jhooth bolan di aadat hai, aur Khattar nu kuttan di,” (Kejriwal is in the habit of lying and Khattar is in the habit of thrashing), said the CM. Even old farmers were not spared by the Khattar government, he added. Noting that the kisan unions had announced their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march in advance, he said they should have been called for talks, but instead, they were subjected to water cannons and teargas shells.
Describing Kejriwal as a “clever” and “slimy” fellow who was in the habit of lying, Amarinder asked the Delhi chief minister to first explain why his government had notified one of the central farm laws. “When other Opposition-ruled states, including Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, have passed amendment bills to counter the central laws, why did he not call a session of the Delhi Assembly to reject the latter?…Does Kejriwal not have villages around Delhi?” he asked.
‘Punjab govt Bills in accordance with Constitution’
Declaring that when he speaks for Punjab, he speaks from his heart, the chief minister said the Bills brought in by his government and passed in the Vidhan Sabha were in accordance with the Constitution, as was done in Gujarat in 2015. All Punjab parties had supported his government initially and even went to meet the Governor with him but later, some did a U-turn for political gains, he said.
Pointing out that when the farmers sat on Punjab’s railway tracks for two months, not a single stone was pelted, Amarinder said “Our famers have toiled and given their lives to feed the nation.” His government did not take any steps against the agitating farmers as “I knew what’s in their hearts,” he added.
Punjab’s farmers made India self-sufficient “but now, when other states have also started growing wheat and paddy, our farmers are being ignored,” he lamented. Had Punjab’s farmers not saved India and had the Green Revolution not happened, India would have been much different today, he added. He pointed out that the agitating farmers have the support not only of Indians but also from abroad.