Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

Barbs Fly Between Punjab, Haryana Chief Ministers Over Farmers' March

Haryana Police use water cannons and tear gas to disperse farmers from Punjab on 'Delhi Chalo' march.

Barbs Fly Between Punjab, Haryana Chief Ministers Over Farmers' March
Amarinder Singh and Manohar Lal Khattar

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday lashed out at the BJP-led government in Haryana for stopping farmers from moving towards Delhi, saying the use of "brute force" against them is “totally undemocratic and unconstitutional”.

Haryana has completely sealed its borders with Punjab to prevent farmers from entering the state for their ''Delhi Chalo'' protest march against the Centre''s farm laws.

“Why is @mlkhattar govt in Haryana stopping the farmers from moving to Delhi? The tyrannical use of brute force against peacefully protesting farmers is totally undemocratic & unconstitutional,” said Singh in a tweet.

He said farmers have been peacefully protesting in Punjab against the farm laws for two months.

“Why is Haryana govt provoking them by resorting to force? Don't the farmers have the right to pass peacefully through a public highway?", Singh asked.

The Haryana Police on Thursday used water cannons and tear gas to disperse a group of farmers from Punjab who allegedly tried to jump police barricades to enter Haryana as part of their ''Delhi Chalo'' march.

The Punjab chief minister said it was a “sad irony” that the constitutional right of farmers was being “oppressed” on the Constitution Day.

"It''s a sad irony that on #ConstitutionDay2020 the constitutional right of farmers is being oppressed in this manner. Let them pass @mlkhattar  ji, don't push them to the brink. Let them take their voice to Delhi peacefully," Singh said.        

He also appealed to the BJP to direct the Manohar Lal Khattar led government not to indulge in “strong-arm tactics” against the farmers.

"Urge @BJP4India  to direct their state governments not to indulge in such strong-arm tactics against the farmers. The hands that feed the nation deserve to be held, not pushed aside,” he said.

Shortly after Singh lambasted him, Khattar sternly told the Punjab Chief Minister to stop "inciting innocent farmers".

Khattar asked Singh to desist from misleading farmers, highlighting that he has already pledged to quit politics if the Minimum Support Price mechanism is ever dismantled.

"@Capt Amarinder Ji, 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," Khattar tweeted.

He accused Singh of "only tweeting" and "running away from talks" with him on the issue.

"I've been trying to reach out to you for the last 3 days but, sadly, you have decided to stay unreachable --  is this how serious you are for farmers' issues? You're only tweeting and running away from talks, why," Khattar asked in another tweet.

Launching a scathing attack on Singh, the Haryana Chief Minister told him, "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 not to play with the lives of the people - at least avoid cheap politics during the time of the pandemic," Khattar told Singh.

Singh expressed shock at his response.

"Shocked at your response @mlkhattar ji. It's the farmers who've to be convinced on MSP, not me. You should've tried to talk to them before their #DilliChalo. And if you think I'm inciting farmers then why are Haryana farmers also marching to Delhi," he asked.

As for endangering lives during #Covid, have you forgotten that it was @BJP4India led central govt that pushed through those #FarmLaws amid the pandemic, uncaring about the impact they'd have on our farmers? Why didn't you speak out then @mlkhattar Ji," Singh asked Khattar.

Farmers are marching towards Delhi to protest the Centre's new farm laws.

Protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the Centre's farm laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporates.

The government has maintained that farm laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.