Centre’s decision to repeal farm laws a delayed but welcome step, says Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi

Had Prime Minister Narendra Modi taken this decision much earlier, several precious lives would have been saved, Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi said

Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi
Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi

Bipin Bhardwaj

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Friday termed the Union government’s decision to repeal the three farm laws as a much delayed but welcome step. Had Prime Minister Narendra Modi taken this decision much earlier, several precious lives would have been saved, Channi said.

Blaming the Centre for thrusting the farm laws arbitrarily on the farmers without taking them into confidence, Channi said, “The BJP-led Central government should admit on record to have made an Himalayan blunder in bringing these bills for which it hardly bothered to even relent for the past one and half years.”

The farmers' agitation on Delhi’s borders claimed an estimated 700-odd lives during the unparalleled struggle to safeguard their rights to secure livelihood and the future of their generations.

The Punjab CM said that incidents like Lakhimpur Kheri which happened during the struggle put a slur on the fair name of democracy and the people will never forgive the BJP-led Central government for its misdeeds.

Channi said that now that the Prime Minister has announced withdrawal of these draconian farm laws, he should compensate the farmers adequately for the humongous loss of life and property suffered by them.

Likewise, he also sought compensation from the State on account of financial and property losses during the agitation.

He pointed out that the Punjab government has already provided government jobs to kin of deceased farmers besides financial assistance of Rs.5 lakh to each affected family.

The CM also asked the Prime Minister to immediately announce a financial package to relieve farmers and labourers reeling under the huge burden of debt.

He also asked the Centre to make its stand crystal clear on Minimum Support Price and public procurement of farmers’ crops.

While describing the development as a victory of people, Channi said that the farmers have faced several hardships including the vagaries of weather to brave the mighty Union government. He said that though the Union government left no stone unturned to harass, humiliate and demotivate the farmers, but following the footsteps of the great Gurus who have taught us to fight against injustice, oppression and tyranny, the farmers continued their struggle relentlessly.

Channi said that this decision is the outcome of the long struggle of the farmers which will be scripted in golden words in annals of history. This win after a long struggle of more than a year marks the downfall of the haughty Modi government and the countdown has now begun when people will oust this tyrannical government and bring back the Congress party to power, he said.

With which face will the Akalis and BJP leadership who had been singing paeans eulogising the PM for these laws, come to the people now, Channi quipped. Channi said that the nexus of Akalis-BJP and even Capt. Amarinder Singh made all out efforts to weaken the farmers’ movement but in the end it’s a victory of good over evil.

He said that from day one, his government has been opposing these laws tooth and nail.

Channi said that the Congress party has also vehemently protested against these laws besides extending all support to agitating farmers.

Channi also mentioned that his government outrightly rejected these black farm laws besides repealing the contentious Contract Farming Act 2013 enacted by the then Parkash Singh Badal led SAD-BJP alliance government in the recently concluded special session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

The CM further said that he had himself prevailed upon the PM to take these laws back during his meeting with him at his office.

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