Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 8
Rejecting as completely baseless and malicious all allegations and reports to the contrary, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said there was no question of deputing police officers to negotiate with farmers protesting at the Delhi border.
Pointing out that he had made it categorically clear that the ball was in the Centre’s court, with the Punjab government having no role to play in the negotiations with farmers, the chief minister ridiculed the charges being flaunted by Akali and AAP leaders on the basis of unfounded reports in a small section of the media.
With farmers protests going on in his state since long before the agitation started at the Delhi border, he had naturally asked police officers to give him regular intelligence reports and updates on the situation not just from the national capital but also across Punjab, Captain Amarinder pointed out, trashing the twisted and senseless interpretation being given to the presence of a few Punjab Police personnel at the farmers’ protest site.
It was the job of the state police to keep tabs on the evolving situation, and it was his job, as both chief minister and home minister, to remain updated about all developments, he added.
“Anyone who believes that a couple of police officers can negotiate with the farmers or persuade the Kisan leaders to accept the Centre’s suggestions on amendments to the farm laws is really naive,” the chief minister remarked. And where is the question of him (Captain Amarinder) coming into a negotiation process in which the top central government leadership is currently engaged, he asked.
Capt Amarinder said both Sukhbir Singh Badal and Arvind Kejriwal, as well as their party colleagues, were resorting to lies and deceit in their desperation to cover up their own failures in the entire crisis triggered by the farm laws.
Pointing to Sukhbir’s ridiculous claim that the resolutions passed in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha against the three farm Bills had not been sent to the Governor, he quipped that the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president had clearly lost it.
“Or perhaps he is suffering from serious amnesia since his party colleagues, including his own brother-in-law Bikram Majithia, had accompanied me to the Governor’s House for submitting the resolution and the three State Amendment Bills,” remarked the chief minister, advising Sukhbir to seek medical help for his problem.
Taking a dig at the contradictory remarks of Sukhbir and his wife, former Union Minister Harsimrat Badal, on the Governor assent issue, Capt Amarinder termed it a classic case of Charles Darwin’s missing link, which the Akalis seem to be suffering from.
Unlike the Akalis and AAP, which had made drastic U-turns, the Punjab Congress and his government had a very clear and consistent stand on the central farm laws, said the chief minister, adding that his government had supported the farmers’ stance on the issue from the outset and continued to do so.
“The farmers and the people of Punjab are not going to be taken in by your fabrications and drama,” he said, warning Sukhbir and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal to stop indulging in false propaganda to push their political agenda.