Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah not to offend farmers protesting against the new agriculture laws and claimed that he had intervened to stop farmer leader Rakesh Tikait from being arrested.
While speaking at an event in his home district, Malik further said he had requested the prime minister and the home minister not to use force against farmers, and not to send them home from Delhi empty-handed.
“I requested both PM and HM that they should not send the farmers back empty-handed. And that they should not use force against them. The Sikhs will remember it for 300 years. The day there was talk of Tikait (BKU leader Rakesh Tikait) being arrested, I intervened at 11 pm, making sure it didn’t happen,” Satya Pal Malik was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
According to Indian Express, Satya Pal Malik also said that he was advised to not speak up about the farmers’ protest but he could not hold himself back. “Governors are meant to stay silent… They have to rest and not do any work,” he said. “They are expected to not say anything but it is my habit to speak up. When I saw what was happening to the farmers, I couldn’t stop myself from speaking up.”
Describing the condition of farmers as bad, Malik said, "They are getting poorer day by day while the salary of government officials and staff increases after every three years. Whatever is sown by a farmer is cheap and whatever he buys is expensive." "They do not know how they are becoming poor. The 'satyanaash' (annihilation) of the farmers is taking place without their knowledge. When they go to sow (crops), there is some price, and when they go to reap it, the price decreases by almost Rs 300," Malik said.
Farmers have been protesting against various newly enacted farm laws since November 26 last year at various borders of the national capital. The farmers are opposing the Centre government for implementing the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
(With inputs from PTI)