High time the Central government realised its blunder, says Capt. Amarinder Singh
Punjab Chief Minister Captain (Retd.) Amarinder Singh on Friday demanded immediate scrapping of the three farm laws enacted by the Centre, while calling for detailed discussions with farmers to find a way forward.
Pointing out that many farmers had died over the course of the ongoing protests against the laws, the Chief Minister said it was “high time the Central government realised its blunder and withdrew the legislations in the interests of the farmers and the nation”.
The Chief Minister was speaking as he inaugurated the third State-level virtual “Kisan Mela” (farmer fair) organised by the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.
“Till date, the Indian Constitution has been amended as many as 127 times, so why can it not be amended once again to scrap the farm laws and resolve the imbroglio resulting from them?” asked the Chief Minister. “What is the problem in doing it a 128th time?” he demanded to know from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre, which he said was “out to ruin farmers”.
“What is happening with farmers today is extremely sad, given the immense contribution made by them [farmers] to India’s development and progress,” Capt. Amarinder said, calling for immediate revocation of the laws, which he said were detrimental to the interests not only of the agricultural community but the entire country.
Recalling that he had been asked by the Centre to stop Punjab’s farmers from going to Delhi in November 2020, the Chief Minister said he had refused point blank to do so as to protest is the democratic right of farmers. “Why should they not protest? How can I stop them?” he asked, stating that he continued to stand with farmers in their fight against the legislations.
Noting the contribution of Punjab and its farmers to the country’s growth, the Chief Minister said that the State, with only 1.53% of India’s total geographical area, produces about 18% of the country’s wheat, 11% of paddy, 4.4% of cotton and 10% of milk. For the past many decades, Punjab had been contributing about 35-40% of wheat and 25-30% of rice to the Central pool, he said, expressing pride in the achievements of the State’s farmers.
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