Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 20
With an RTI response exposing the lie of the Centre’s claim on the farm laws having been approved by the high-powered committee on agricultural reforms, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said it was now obvious that the Akalis and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had been spreading a carnage of lies at the behest of the BJP-led government.
Media reports citing a reply by the Planning Commission to an RTI query suggest that the Farm Ordinances were promulgated and introduced in Parliament in June 2020 without the report of the chief ministers’ committee being ever appraised by the Governing Council of NITI Aayog.
This, said the Punjab chief minister, was in stark contrast to the claims of the Central government, which both Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and AAP had been shamelessly parroting in an apparent bid to promote the Bharatiya Janata Party’s anti-farmer agenda.
It may be recalled that Minister of State for Food Danve Raosaheb Dadarao had claimed before Lok Sabha that the high-powered committee had approved the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, which Capt Amarinder had categorically rejected and which has now been proved wrong by the RTI reply.
Far from basing the farm laws on the discussions and decisions of the committee, the fact, as validated by the RTI response, was that the committee report had not even been placed till now before the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog, Capt Amarinder pointed out.
Once the report is made public, everyone will now know who said what in the committee meetings, where Punjab was not even a part in the first one, while the second discussed some financial issues with Manpreet Badal in attendance and the third was only attended by Secretary-level officials, he added.
The chief minister lambasted the Punjab opposition parties over their campaign of lies, deception and misinformation to promote their collective agenda of instigating the people against the democratically elected Congress government in the state.
“Their bundle of lies have been completely exposed by the RTI response,” he added, slamming the BJP, the SAD and AAP for shamelessly misleading the nation on such a sensitive issue which had triggered massive unrest and had the potential of disturbing the peace of his state and the country.
Lashing out at former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal for questioning Rahul Gandhi on the basis of this false propaganda, the chief minister said the extent of the SAD leader’s shamelessness was evident from the fact that she continued to spread the lie even after the RTI response was extensively published in the media.
More than two days after the media reports on the RTI, Harsimrat had on Tuesday continued to brazenly allege that Capt Amarinder had consented to the farm laws as part of the committee.
Demanding an unequivocal apology to the people of Punjab by Harsimrat, the chief minister further took a dig at the ex-Union minister for pretending to be concerned about the cause of the farmers.
“Why did you not stop your ally from shoving these draconian laws on the farmers? Why did you and your party support the laws wholeheartedly all these months?” he asked Harsimrat and the SAD.
Dubbing the SAD as a fake champion of the farmers, the chief minister said unlike the Akalis, who had been playing double games on the farm laws’ issue, Rahul and the entire Congress had been steadfastly fighting for their rights from the outset.
“You should be ashamed of playing with the emotions and the lives of the farmers, without none of us can survive a day,” he remarked, asserting that his government will not allow the interests of the farmers to be trampled by the likes of the power-seeking Badals and Kejriwal.
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