Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday questioned his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal’s decision not to allow farmers to go peacefully to Delhi when the Centre was ready to talk to them and even the Delhi government had no problem letting them in.
“Who’s Khattar to come in between? What business does he have interfering in this whole affair?” he said. He also accused Mr. Lal of making baseless allegations that he [Punjab CM] was instigating the farmers and provoking them to agitate. “I am a nationalist to the core. I run a border State and will never do anything to create law and order problem of any kind.” He said the farmers had been blocking Punjab’s railway tracks for the last 60 days causing a loss of more than ₹43,000 crore without any problem.
“I will not take this nonsense from Khattar. Don’t I have better things to do than to incite farmers?” he said, adding that “sometimes they say it’s the Khalistanis who’re managing the protests and sometimes they accuse me of doing it…let them make up their mind.” The Chief Minister said no political party was involved in the farm protests. They were a spontaneous reaction of the farmers fighting for their future.
Capt. Amarinder also dismissed Mr. Lal’s claim that the Haryana farmers were not part of the “Dilli Chalo” agitation. He said Punjab’s intelligence showed that 40,000-50,000 farmers from the State had joined the march which even the Centre’s intelligence reports would have borne out. “He [Mr. Lal] doesn’t know what’s happening in his own State and he’s telling me what to do in my State!”
Capt. Amarinder also said Mr. Lal was lying that he tried calling me earlier and I did not respond. “But now, after what he has done to my farmers, I will not speak to him even if he calls me 10 times. Unless he apologises and admits that he did wrong to Punjab’s farmers, I will not forgive him,” said Capt. Amarinder in a statement issued based on his series of interviews.