“I am fighting for poor farmers,” says Punjab CM Amarinder Singh at dharna in Delhi
Blaming the Modi government for “step motherly” treatment, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday staged a dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, saying it was to “save” his state
Blaming the Modi government for “step motherly” treatment, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday staged a dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, saying it was to “save” his state.
Saying that every state of India has developed its own system, Amrinder Singh defended the arhatiya system in Punjab. “I am fighting for the poor farmers who make nearly 75 to 80 per cent of the total farmers,” said Amrinder while addressing the media at Jantar Mantar.
“What benefit will you (Modi govt) derive by corporatizing the farm sector? Can a poor farmer get financial help from a corporate house as he could get from arhatiya?” asked Amarinder.
Congress leader Navjot Singh Siddhu also addressed the media and attacked the Modi government for handing over the farm sector to Adani and Ambani.
He compared the new farm laws with colonial laws.
“Farmers will not have rights to lodge complaints under these farm laws…like East India company, big companies will exploit farmers,” said Siddhu. “The only difference is that the power rests in the hand of brown-skinned managers,” he added
Apart from Congress, MLAs and MPs from other parties also participated in the dharna.
The Punjab chief minister said the Aam Aadmi Party had been "pressured" not to join the dharna as its government in Delhi had not passed amendment bills to protect the farmers.
The Punjab Assembly last month had adopted a resolution rejecting the Centre's new farm laws and passed four bills it said will counter the contentious legislation enacted by the Parliament.
The three farm bills -- the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 -- were passed by Parliament recently.
Subsequently, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the bills.
The Congress, many other opposition parties and several farmers organisations have been protesting against the recent farm legislations, alleging that these will harm the interests of farmers and benefit corporates, a claim denied by the government.
The Centre has asserted that these new laws will be beneficial for farmers and will increase their income.