Amarinder appeals to farmers to resolve crisis saying agitation is affecting Punjab economy

Capt Amarinder may also be part of the deliberations the Centre has with farmers

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 3

Reiterating Punjab’s position seeking early resolution of the farm laws’ deadlock, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday urged the Centre to rethink its stand on the legislations while appealing to farmers to find an early solution to the problem that was adversely impacting the state’s economy and also posed a serious danger to national security, a press release by the Punjab government read.

Captain Amarinder Singh addresses the media after his meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah at the latter's residence in New Delhi on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

In an important message to farmers after meeting Home Minister Amit Shah, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said the prolonged protests were impacting national security and Punjab economy and must be resolved soon.

“My appeal to farmers is that they just urgently find a solution to this problem. It is impacting national security and Punjab’s economy,” he said.

The problem needed to be solved quickly, the Chief Minister stressed during a crucial meeting here with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, whom he urged to ensure that the Government of India addressed the concerns of farmers.

Singh had a frank meeting with Shah and said he had urged the Centre to find a solution to the ongoing agitation.

“The two sides should not take rigid positions and a meeting ground must be found,” said the Chief Minister.

Amit Shah and Amarinder Singh met at the former’s residence.

The Chief Minister told mediapersons during a brief interaction after his meeting with Shah that while he and his government were not involved in the mediation in any way, and the matter had to be resolved between the Centre and the farmers, an early resolution was vital in the interest of both Punjab and the country, the press release further read.

Stressing the need to protect the MSP and continue with the APMC-based mandi system, the Chief Minister urged Shah to listen to farmers with an open mind to resolve the standoff quickly so that farmers from Punjab and other states could return to their homes.

“A solution has to be found at the earliest,” he said, adding: “He had come to meet the Union Home Minister to reiterate Punjab’s stand on the imbroglio between farmers and the Central Government, as well as the need to secure the future of the farming community and agriculture.”

The Chief Minister had earlier warned that Pakistan and China were fishing in troubled waters over the ongoing farmers’ agitation over agriculture reform bills. He had earlier said that Pakistan had been sending drones into India.

A day before, Ludhiana MP Ravneet Bittu said on record that certain Khalistani elements had penetrated the protests and Amit Shah should take control as the agitation had gone out of hand.

Asked what his position on farm laws is, Amarinder said: “That is between the Centre and the farmers. I only came here to tell the Home Minister to find a quick solution in the interest of India’s security and Punjab’s economic well-being.”

The Chief Minister did not take a position on what the Centre should do about farm laws despite Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeting before Capt’s meeting with Shah that anything less than the repeal of black laws would be a betrayal of farmers interests.

In an important cue to the Chief Minister ahead of the meeting, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said: “Anything less than the repeal of black farm laws would be a betrayal of the farmers of India.”

Capt Amarinder may also be part of the deliberations the Centre has with farmers.

The Chief Minister had earlier warned the Centre of the agitation and sought a status quo with respect to Punjab, where he said the arhtiya system was part of the social fabric of the agriculture dominated landscape.

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