Chandigarh, Sept. 13: Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh today appealed to farmers over the ongoing stirs in the state, stating that the dharnas over the contentious laws were “hurting” the economy.
Amarinder’s “alarm” came while he was laying the foundation stone of a government college at Mukhliana village in Hoshiarpur district. The college has been named after Dr B.R. Ambedkar. Loan waiver cheques to landless farm labourers were also distributed on the occasion.
Amarinder’s statement comes close on the heels of requests by farm unions to all political parties, barring the BJP, not to hold election rallies before the announcement of the polls.
The farmer unions fear a division among the “annadatas” over the contentious laws during electioneering. There is fear of losing focus on the farm laws once political rallies divert attention to local issues.
Amarinder asked the protesting farmers in the state to take their agitation to Delhi and raise their voices there. “I appeal to the farmers not to protest in Punjab, but shift to Delhi or Haryana to fight for their cause,” he said.
“Had the Punjab Government not extended support to farmers raising their voices against the farm laws, the issue would not have reached Delhi today,” Amarinder stressed.
The chief minister expressed hope that farm leaders would put the development of Punjab on their priority list and shift their dharnas to Delhi or Haryana, so that the state does not suffer more on the economical front. He, however, did not elaborate on the kind of losses Punjab has suffered due to the farmers’ stirs.
There are as many as 113 ongoing dharnas spread across the state. Farmers have blocked major highways and railway tracks over the farm laws, leading to delays in the supply of essential commodities.
Addressing another gathering on the occasion of laying the foundation stone of Punjab Agriculture University College of Agriculture at Ballowal Saunkhri in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Amarinder reminded that the Constitution had been amended 127 times since 1950 and it could be done again.
“So why not one more time to repeal the farm laws for providing succour to the farmers who have been sitting at Singhu and Tikri borders,” the chief minister demanded.
The Punjab government has provided Rs 5 lakh to every farmer from the state who has died during the agitation against the farm laws, besides a job to the kin of the deceased farmers.