By no means mess with livelihoods, spiritual points, Amarinder tells Centre

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 4

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday warned the Centre against meddling with the livelihood issues of Punjab farmers and cautioned against the designs of Pakistan and China to stoke tension in the border state amid an ongoing blockade of goods into Punjab.

Launching a mission to save farmers of Punjab from Delhi’s Rajghat, Amarinder said he and other state MLAs cutting across party lines had sought to meet President Ram Nath Kovind not about the recently passed state farm laws but about the national and food security challenges Punjab was facing.

Also read: SAD chief Sukhbir Badal suggests Punjab CM Amarinder ‘fast until death’; calls ‘dharna a drama’ 

Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh, along with party MLA, at Raj Ghat before sitting on ‘dharna’ at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal.

“I did not want to meet the President over the bills because I know the state governor hasn’t even forwarded the state’s bills to the President. The governor is just a post box in this matter and has no rights. He has to send the bills to the President but is sitting on them. I wanted to brief the President on the emerging national security and food security issues in Punjab where Pakistan is looking to create trouble. We don’t have sacks to store harvested wheat,” Amarinder said at a dharna he led of all state MLAs barring those from AAP and Shiromani Akali Dal.

The Punjab Chief Minister pays his respects to the Father of the Nation at Rajghat on a smoggy Delhi morning. Photo credit: Twitter/@PunjabCongress.


The CM said he had assured the railway minister of cooperation should goods trains come into Punjab but “the same hasn’t happened”.

“We have been told that we are anti-national. That’s not true. We are here to preserve and not disturb national unity. Soldiers of Punjab battalion were among those killed in the Galwan clash. We know how to shed our blood for the nation. We have made many sacrifices and will always be ready to do more. Some farmers are agitating along some rail lines but we have assured the Centre that railway police and Punjab Police can together handle the matter,” the CM said after Congress lawmaker Navjot Singh Sidhu, former State minister Parminder Dhindsa and Bholath MLA Sukhpal Khaira had slammed the Centre for attacking federalism with central farm laws. 

The MLAs vowed continued action against central laws with the CM saying, “We have challenged the central laws under rules shown by late FM Arun Jaitley to BJP states. At the time, the President had assented to the state bills. We hope the President will do the same now.”

The CM questioned ED notices to him and his family since the farm bills were passed by the state.

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