Chandigarh, September 17
As the nation marked one year of the farm laws, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday demanded immediate scrapping of the legislations by the Centre, calling for detailed discussions with the farmers to find a way forward.
Pointing out that many farmers had died in these protests, the Chief Minister said it was high time the Central government realised its blunder and withdrew the legislations in the interest of the farmers and the nation.
The Chief Minister was inaugurating the third state-level virtual Kisan Mela organised by Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. The two-day mela is centred on the theme of eliminating stubble burning.
“Till date, the Indian Constitution has been amended 127 times, so why can it not be amended once again to scrap the farm laws and resolve the imbroglio resulting from them,” asked the Chief Minister. “What is the problem in doing it a 128th time?” he demanded to know from the BJP-led government at the Centre.
What is happening to the farmers today is extremely sad, given the immense contribution made by them to India’s development and progress, said Amarinder, calling for immediate revocation of the laws, which he said were detrimental to the interest not just of the agricultural community but the entire country.
Recalling that he had been asked by the Centre to stop Punjab’s farmers from going to Delhi last November, the Chief Minister said he had refused point blank to do so, as protest is the democratic right of farmers. “Why should they not protest? How can I stop them,” he asked, making it clear that he continues to stand with the farmers in their fight against the legislations, with his government continuing to give compensation and jobs to the families of the deceased farmers.
Noting the contribution of Punjab and its farmers to the country’s growth, the Chief Minister said the state, with only 1.53 per cent of total geographical area of India, produces about 18 per cent of the country’s wheat, 11 per cent paddy, 4.4 per cent cotton and 10 per cent milk. For the past many decades, Punjab has been contributing about 35-40 per cent of wheat and 25-30 per cent of rice to the central pool, he said.
The Chief Minister stressed on the importance of agriculture as the lifeline of Punjab, and urged farmers to take full advantage of PAU’s advancements in technologies, seeds, etc.