Amarinder, Khattar in twitter spat over farmers’ Delhi Chalo march

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 26

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar engaged in twitter spat after the former condemned Haryana’s forcible attempts to stop farmers from marching to Delhi in protest against the Farm Laws.

Captain Amarinder Singh warned the BJP-led government against pushing farmers to the brink.

Reacting to the Punjab CM’s attack, Khattar urged Amarinder in his tweets that he should “stop inciting farmers”.

“@capt_amarinder ji, I’ve said it earlier and I’m saying it again, I’ll leave politics if there’ll be any trouble on the MSP – therefore, please stop inciting innocent farmers,” Khattar said.

Urging the Manohar Lal Khattar government to allow the agitated farmers to pass through the national highway to take their voice to Delhi peacefully, Captain Amarinder questioned the need to stop them from proceeding.

Haryana has completely sealed its borders with Punjab to prevent farmers from entering the state for their ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest march against the Centre’s farm laws.

Also read: Khattar targets Amarinder on the farmers’ stir; asks him to stop inciting farmers

“Why is @mlkhattar govt in Haryana stopping the farmers from moving to Delhi? The tyrannical use of brute force against peacefully protesting farmers is totally undemocratic & unconstitutional,” he said, asserting that “the hands that feed the nation deserve to be held, not pushed aside”.

Terming it a “sad irony” that on Constitution Day, the constitutional right of farmers to protest was being suppressed, the Chief Minister flayed the use of brute force by the Haryana police, which had used water cannons and tear gas in a bid to stop the Punjab farmers from marching through the state and had not allowed farmer from Haryana to move out of their villages in many places.

What was the need for violence, Captain Amarinder asked, pointing out that the farmers had been protesting for past two months in Punjab without any problem, even though the state had suffered crores of rupees in losses.

The Haryana Police on Thursday used water cannons and tear gas to disperse a group of farmers from Punjab who allegedly tried to jump police barricades to enter Haryana as part of their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march.

There had been no violence or law and order problem in Punjab, he observed, terming the Haryana government’s actions as provocative.

“For nearly two months farmers have been protesting peacefully in Punjab without any problem. Why is Haryana govt provoking them by resorting to force? Don’t the farmers have the right to pass peacefully through a public highway?” he asked.

He also appealed to the BJP to direct the Manohar Lal Khattar-led government not to indulge in “strong arm tactics” against the farmers.

“Urge @BJP4India to direct their state governments not to indulge in such strong-arm tactics against the farmers. The hands that feed the nation deserve to be held, not pushed aside,” he said.

The Chief Minister urged the BJP leadership to direct their state governments not to indulge in such strong-arm tactics against the farmers.

“Let the farmers be heard by the Central Government, let their concerns be addressed,” he said, calling for peaceful resolution of the farmers’ concerns in the national interest.

On Delhi Chief Minister’s Arvind Kejriwal’s condemnation of the use of force against farmers in Haryana, Captain Amarinder raised doubts over the AAP leader’s sincerity towards the farmers’ cause, asking why the Delhi government had failed to bring its own laws in the state Assembly to counter the dangers of the central farm laws.

“Kejriwal is just playing to the gallery, the fact is that he neither cares for the farmers nor is interested in protecting them,” said the Punjab Chief Minister, urging his Delhi counterpart to stand firmly with the farmers instead of indulging in double standards, if he really cared about them.

Farmers are marching towards Delhi to protest the Centre’s new farm laws.

Protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the Centre’s farm laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporates.

The government has maintained that farm laws would bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture. PTI

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