Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday said hit out at the BJP over the recent statements of senior party leaders, including the union and Haryana agriculture ministers, on the deaths of farmers protesting the centre’s new agricultural laws.
The BJP-led government at the centre should step down in the interest of the nation, as should the ML Khattar government in Haryana, said the Chief Minister, slamming Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar’s and state agriculture minister JP Dalal’s statements on the deaths of farmers protesting against the farm laws at the borders of the national capital since November.
Punjab alone has paid compensation to families of as many as 102 farmers who have died in these protests, said the Chief Minister, lashing out at Mr Tomar over his statement citing Delhi Police that only two farmers have died and one has committed suicide.
He also hit out at Haryana minister Dalal for his remark that farmers who have died in this agitation would have died at homes as well.
The Chief Minister slammed the Union Agriculture Minister over his statement that the central government has no plans to provide financial assistance from the Kisan Kalyan Fund to the families of the farmers who have died.
“It was deplorable that a government that can spend Rs 8 crore on a publicity campaign for the new farm laws cannot give compensation to the families of the farmers who have sacrificed their lives in fighting for their rights,” he said.
Referring to Mr Tomar’s claim that the centre has no count of the farmers who have died at the protest, Captain Singh said it was appalling that a government which claimed to be working in the interest of the farmers does not even know how many farmers had died in the protests against their farm laws, just as they had no idea, some months ago, on how many migrants had died in the country during the lockdown.
“Either the Agriculture Minister deliberately lied on the floor of the House or simply does not care to even ascertain the facts and figures,” said the Chief Minister, adding that this was not the first time a central minister had made a false statement in Parliament on the issue of the Farm Laws or the farmers’ agitation.
Another minister had earlier stated falsely in parliament that Punjab had been taken on board on the farm laws in its capacity as a member of the agricultural reforms committee, Captain Singh said.