HOURS after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited Singhu border to meet agitating farmers, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh mocked him for calling himself a `sevadar’ of the farmers.
He asked his Delhi counterpart if he even knew the difference between wheat and paddy. In a statement, Amarinder said, “For a man who had wasted no time in notifying one of the three Central farm laws and publicly declared himself to be helpless in the matter, Kejriwal’s claim of being a sevadar of the farmers was simply ludicrous.”
Amarinder challenged Kejriwal to cite one instance of anything his government had done for farmers in Delhi. “You did not even bother to convene a session of the Delhi Vidhan Sabha on the issue,” said Amarinder, in a scathing attack on the Delhi Chief Minister, whom he dubbed nothing more than a master-twister who could stoop to any level to further his political interests.
If Kejriwal thought all the demands of the farmers to be valid, why did he not get state amendment laws passed in Delhi, on the lines of Punjab and some other states, to negate the devastating effects of the Central laws, asked the Chief Minister. He dared Kejriwal to back his claims of supporting the farmers’ demands by opposing the farm laws openly and constitutionally, as the Punjab government was doing, instead of indulging in political drama for public consumption. “This political spectacle is not going to help the farmers,” Amarinder said.
“The farmers have seen through your sneaky little ways and your theatrics will not help you change their opinion,” the Chief Minister said, commenting on Kejriwal’s dramatic visit to the Singhu border, from where farmers had earlier sent away several AAP leaders. A few hours of media limelight is all that the AAP national convenor managed to get from this drama, said Amarinder, adding that, in any case, the farmers don’t need the support of AAP workers to make their bandh a success.
Kejriwal and his AAP did not even have the courage to question the Centre’s haste in bringing the farm laws amid the Covid pandemic, Amarinder pointed out, adding that the whole drama of supporting the Bharat Bandh and standing with the farmers was being enacted by the party with an eye on Punjab Assembly elections due in early 2022. “You and your party members in Punjab had exposed your deceit and double standards back in 2017, and your wishy-washy stand on the farmers’ issue now has again nailed your lies,” he told Kejriwal.
After failing to take a stand for the farmers on the farm laws’ issue, Kejriwal was now desperately looking for an opportunity to salvage his party’s lost ground among the farmer community, said Amarinder, adding that the Delhi CM had seen an opportunity in the Bharat Bandh call to woo the farmers, who had rejected the AAP in Punjab.