Blockade lifted, Punjab CM asks Centre to restore train services to state

Farmers' decision brings two months of impasse to an end

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 21

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh urged the central government to return farmers’ announcement in kind by restoring train services to the state---a development that would bring two months of impasse with farmers to an end.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh (third from left) holds talks with leaders from farmers’ unions on Saturday. Tribune photo

Farmers, who have been protest three controversial farm laws that Parliament had passed in September, said on Saturday that they would complete lift their rail blockade on November 23.   Their decision came after a meeting between farmers’ unions and the state government.

Bharti Kissan Union (Rajewal) President Balbir Singh Rajewal, who made the announcement, warned that the decision was only conditional upon the central government’s willingness to continue holding talks with them over the controversial laws, and gave it 15 days.

On his part, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah soon over their demands.

 “Let us together put pressure on the Center to see our point of view and understand how these (central farm) laws would ruin Punjab,” he said, asserting that he was with the farmers in their fight. “We all have farmer blood in our veins,” he said, adding that his government would also look into some of their demands, including those relating to sugarcane price hike and clearance of dues, as well as withdrawal of FIRs registered in stubble burning cases.

He also said he would hold talks with them on these issues within a week and set up a committee of officers to discuss the matter.

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