Chandigarh, Nov 26 (IANS) Strongly condemning Haryana’s forcible attempts to stop farmers from marching to Delhi in protest against the farm laws, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday warned the BJP-led government against pushing them to the brink.
Urging the Manohar Lal Khattar government to allow the protesting farmers to pass through the national highway to take their voice to Delhi peacefully, Amarinder Singh questioned the need to stop them from proceeding.
“Why is the Khattar government in Haryana stopping farmers from moving to Delhi? The tyrannical use of brute force against peacefully protesting farmers is totally undemocratic and unconstitutional,” he said, asserting that “the hands that feed the nation deserve to be held, not pushed aside”.
Terming it a “sad irony” that on Constitution Day, the constitutional right of farmers to protest was being suppressed, the Chief Minister flayed the use of brute force by the Haryana police, which had used water cannons and teargas in a bid to stop the Punjab farmers from marching through the state and had not allowed farmer from Haryana to move out of their villages in many places.
“What was the need for violence,” Amarinder Singh asked, pointing out that the farmers had been protesting for the past two months in Punjab without any problem, even though the state had suffered crores of rupees in losses.
There had been no violence or law and order problem in Punjab, he observed, terming the Haryana government’s actions as provocative. “For nearly two months farmers have been protesting peacefully in Punjab without any problem. Why is Haryana government provoking them by resorting to force? Don’t the farmers have the right to pass peacefully through a public highway?” he asked.
The Chief Minister urged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) central leadership to direct their state governments not to indulge in such strong-arm tactics against the farmers.
“Let the farmers be heard by the central government, let their concerns be addressed,” he said, calling for peaceful resolution of the farmers’ concerns in national interest.
On Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s condemnation of the use of force against farmers in Haryana, Amarinder Singh raised doubts over the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader’s sincerity towards the farmers’ cause, asking why the Delhi government had failed to bring its own laws in the state Assembly to counter the dangers of the central farm laws.
“Kejriwal is just playing to the gallery, the fact is that he neither cares for the farmers nor is interested in protecting them,” said the Punjab Chief Minister, urging his Delhi counterpart to stand firmly with the farmers instead of indulging in double standards, if he really cared about them.