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Farmer protests: Haryana CM ML Khattar asks Punjab CM Amarinder Singh to stop inciting farmers

“Time for your lies, deception and propaganda is over - let the people see your real face. Please stop putting the lives of people in danger during the Corona pandemic. I urge you to not play with the lives of the people, at least avoid cheap politics during the time of the pandemic,” Khattar said to Singh.

On November 26, 10 central trade unions have called for ‘Bharat Bandh’ against the recent Farm Laws. Punjab has become the frontrunner in the protest of these laws. Not only the ruling Congress party in Punjab is spreading misinformation about the laws, but the long-term ally of Bhartiya Janata Party, Shiromani Akali Dal, has left NDA over these laws.

Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amrinder Singh has been standing in support of the farmers stating these laws are against their benefits. Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself debunked his claims and had said on multiple occasions that these laws are in favour of the farmers, things are not cooling down in Punjab.

CM Capt Amrinder Singh attacked CM Khattar on Twitter

A large group of farmers and traders had tried to enter Delhi via Haryana, which was blocked by the Haryana government. Irked by the strict measures taken by CM ML Khattar to stop the protestors from entering Delhi, CM Singh has posted a series of tweets condemning CM Khattar’s actions. He said, “For nearly 2 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?”

CM Singh further added it is sad that on Constitution Day, the Constitutional Right of the farmers to protest is being taken away from them. He further urged the BJP leadership at the centre to ask the states under BJP’s rule to stop using ‘strong-arm’ tactics against the farmers. “The hands that feed the nation deserve to be held, not pushed aside,” he added.

CM Khattar’s rebuttal to CM Singh’s claims

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar replied to Captain Amrinder on Twitter and said that he had said multiple times that if there will be an issue over Minimum Selling Price (MSP) because of these laws, he will leave politics. “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,” he said.

CM Khattar further stated that he has been trying to talk to CM Amarinder Singh for the last three days, but he has decided to remain busy and not respond. He asked CM Singh why he was running away from a discussion over the issue. CM Khatter added that he should stop putting the lives of people in danger during the pandemic. “Time for your lies, deception and propaganda is over – let the people see your real face. Please stop putting the lives of people in danger during the Corona pandemic. I urge you to not play with the lives of the people, at least avoid cheap politics during the time of the pandemic,” he said.

The unions supporting Bandh

The ten unions that are supporting the protests are Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Trade Union Co-ordination Centre (TUCC), Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Labour Progressive Federation (LPF) and United Trade Union Congress (UTUC).

The Farmers Laws

In September 2020, the Central Government announced three new agriculture sector reform laws named Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance, and Farm Service Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. The main aim of these reforms is to provide a better platform for the farmers to sell their produce. Simultaneously, several clauses protect farmers’ rights on how they want to sell the crop, timely payments, and more.

Opposition parties have repeatedly said that these laws are the government’s attempt to end MSP provision. PM Modi had come down heavily on the parties opposing the farm laws on September 18 and said those who had kept farmers tied to restrictions for decades are now lying about agricultural reforms.

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