Other States

CM hits back after Oppn. ‘U-turn’ on Punjab Bills

A day after the Punjab Assembly ‘unanimously’ passed three amendment Bills to negate the Central farm laws, Opposition criticism prompted Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to express “amazement” at their “double standards”. He said they [Shiromani Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party] spoke in favour of the Bills in the Assembly, and even went with him to meet the Punjab Governor, but said different things outside.

“It is more than clear that these parties are not interested in securing the future of the farmers or protecting the State’s agriculture and economy,” said Capt. Amarinder.

He said the SAD and AAP were playing to the gallery by pretending to back the Bills in the Assembly on Tuesday. “Their lack of sincerity towards the farmers’ cause has been totally exposed by their statements thereafter. If they thought we were fooling the people of Punjab, why did they not say so in the House? Why did they support and vote for our Bills?” said the Chief Minister.

Reacting to Arvind Kejriwal’s tweet raising doubts about the effectiveness of the amendment Bills, Capt. Amarinder said it smacked of total ignorance on the part of the Delhi Chief Minister. He said instead of questioning his government’s Bills, it would be better for Mr. Kejriwal to “get out of the IT mindset” and ask AAP’s Punjab unit to back the State government in its fight for the rights of the farmers, unless their support to Bills was just a façade. “The ball is in your court — are you with farmers or against them,” he asked the Delhi Chief Minister, challenging him to come out with a categorical stand on the issue of the Punjab amendment Bills.

SAD leader and former Minister Bikram Singh Majithia said that the Bills, and the manner in which they had been brought and passed on Tuesday, were “clearly an orchestrated and foxy move by the [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi-Captain duo to completely destroy the farmers’ cause by throwing the responsibility for purchase of crops up in the air between the State and the Centre”.

‘Farmers betrayed’

Mr. Majithia said that the Assembly session had been convened with only two objectives and on both, the farmers had been stabbed in the back.

AAP Punjab president Bhagwant Mann said the State government Bills were not enough to safeguard the interests of farmers and the only way forward was that it should enact its own law guaranteeing the purchase of all crops, including wheat and paddy, at minimum support price.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 8:21:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cm-hits-back-after-oppn-u-turn-on-punjab-bills/article32912756.ece

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