Chandigarh: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s “anti-farmer agenda” has been exposed as he defended the assault on peasants by accusing the Congress government in Punjab of fuelling the unrest against the Centre’s three farm laws, Amarinder Singh said on Monday.
Earlier in the day, Khattar put the onus of the unrest in his state against the Central legislations on the Amarinder Singh government in Punjab, the Congress, and the Left.
Hitting back, the Punjab chief minister said, “The BJP’s adamant refusal to revoke the laws reflected the vested interests of the party and its leadership, which had once again placed their crony capitalist friends over the common man.”
Blaming the BJP squarely for the unrest, Amarinder Singh said the crisis would not have assumed such grave proportions had the BJP, including the Haryana chief minister and his deputy, heeded the farmers’ concerns and empathised with them “instead of taking refuge in shameful lies for the horrendous attacks on the peaceful farmers”.
He said Khattar’s “anti-farmer” agenda has been exposed as the Haryana chief minister tried to defend the criminal assault on protesting farmers by putting the onus of their agitation on Punjab.
“Can’t you see that the farmers of your own state are angry with you for your apathetic attitude towards them and your party’s stubborn refusal to repeal the farm laws?” he posed.
The farmers were fighting for their survival and did not need provocation from Punjab or any other state to protect themselves and their families, CM Amarinder Singh said.
“Repeal the farm laws instead of blaming Punjab for the mess your party has put the farming sector in. The BJP will have to pay for their sins in the upcoming Assembly elections in various states and in every poll thereafter,” he said.
Around 10 people were allegedly injured on Saturday as police lathi-charged a group of farmers disrupting traffic movement on a national highway while heading towards Karnal to protest against a BJP meeting.
A Kisan Mahapanchayat on Monday sought registration of a case against those involved in the lathi-charge and threatened to lay siege to the secretariat there if their demands are not met by September 6.
The Punjab chief minister said the Khattar government’s repeated attempts to “forcibly end the farmers’ agitation and the derogatory and obnoxious terms used against farmers by various BJP leaders, will backfire”.
Recalling that the farmers had held protests across Punjab for two months before shifting focus to the Delhi borders, Amarinder Singh said his state had not witnessed a single incident of violence during the period.
“Even recently, when sugarcane farmers staged protests, we negotiated with them and resolved the issue instead of using brute force,” he added.
The Punjab chief minister said he and his government were firm with the farmers in their anti-farm laws stance and were even giving compensation and jobs to tFilehe families of those who have died at the Delhi borders “because of the BJP’s follies”.
“A government or a political party which allows such tragic and totally avoidable loss of lives to continue under its watch cannot survive,” he added.