Starting his two-day Punjab tour from Moga Saturday, Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) newly appointed state co-incharge Raghav Chadha met the families of farmers who died during the ongoing agitation against the three central agri laws.
He said that it was ‘very unfortunate that the annadatas who feed our country were agitating in the severe cold’ and farmers were ‘dying’ at the Delhi borders but the dictatorial central and state government were neither listening to the voice of the farmers nor seeing their pain. Chadha appealed to the central government to listen to the plight of the farmers, instead of becoming ‘mediator to a handful of capitalists’.
He demanded that the government should repeal the three laws in the next meeting to be held on January 4 and the farmers must be given the legal right to MSP on every crop.
Earlier, Chadha, accompanied by former MP Sadhu Singh and MLAs Budhram, Prof Baljinder Kaur, Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, and Master Baldev Singh reached the residence of the Makhan Khan (44), who died of heart attack at Singhu border on December 14. Makhan had been parts of the of farmers’ movement since November 26.
Chadha also met the family of 80-year-old Gurbachan Singh, who died on November 30, during the ongoing farmers’ protest in Moga. Talking to the media after meeting the farmers’ families, Chadha said he had not as a political leader “but only to join the grief of the families as a sewadar”.
Chadha said that AAP has extended legal assistance to the farmers, who want to move courts against the BJP leaders for their defamatory remarks against them. “It is because of the sacrifices made by a farmer and his family that food reaches our homes, our plates, and we are able to eat. Abusing an honest farmer, is similar to abusing Mother India,” he said.
“BJP leaders have at different times described the farmers as terrorists, anti-nationals, goondas, dalaals, agents of Pakistan and China. Does our farmer look like a terrorist? I would like to tell the BJP that our farmers have had enough. They are done with being maligned and abused. They now want to knock at the doors of justice, and we truly believe that victory would be theirs,” said Chadha.
The AAP leader said that some farmers have decided to “seek justice after relentless verbal abuse at the hands of BJP leaders”. The AA, he said, “vows to stand with the farmers” in their fight till the BJP leaders are punished. “Right from filing a case, to fighting in court, the party will work with the farmers and for the farmers, helping them every step of the way,” he said.
Chadha said that more than 20 BJP leaders including Union Ministers Giriraj Singh, Piyush Goyal and Ravi Shankar Prasad, MP Manoj Tiwari, Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel and party national general secretary Ram Madhav, and Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar have allegedly used unparliamentary language and hurled abuses at the farmers.
“Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, a farmer from Amritsar, had sent a legal notice to Union Minister Giriraj Singh, seeking an unconditional apology for his defamatory and derogatory remarks made on December 12. The minister had stated that foreign forces had entered the farmers’ movement, and posters of Khalistan were being put up. Similarly on December 17, Gujarat’s deputy CM Nitin Patel had said that in the name of farmers, anti-national elements, terrorists, Khalistanis, Communists and pro-China people had sneaked into the agitation. Taking objection to such accusations, Ramneek Singh Randhawa from Jalandhar sent a notice to Patel, seeking apology and unambiguous withdrawal of the derogatory statements. Another farmer Sukhwinder Singh Sidhu aka Mohinder Singh Sidhu from Sangrur, has also filed a defamation case against Ram Madhav for his statement that the farmer protests were being funded by Khalistanis,” said Chadha.