Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 1
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanded repeal of the three farm laws, resolution of the farmers’ pending issues and urgent commencement of procurement.
Speaking to reporters here after a half-an-hour meeting at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, the CM said he flagged three major issues with the PM in his first official meeting after taking up the chief minister’s position.
“It was a courtesy call but I did raise three issues. The first was procurement. Procurement season in Punjab always begins on October 1. In the past nearly 70 years, procurement may have been preponed but it has never been delayed. This time the Centre has delayed it to October 10. I have demanded that procurement be commenced immediately and the PM said he would look into the issue,” CM Channi said.
On farmers’ issues, the CM said the prolonged agitation over the three farm laws was “hurting the agriculture driven economy of Punjab whose people had fought and died for the country”.
“I urged the prime minister to end this agitation over the three farm bills. He heard me patiently and said he also wants the problem to be solved and was working in the direction. I told the PM that agriculture was the mainstay of our economy and incomes. I also requested the PM to resume the stalled dialogue with farmers and repeal the laws,” the CM added.
He said Punjab was suffering and could progress only if the farmers and farm workers were satisfied and happy.
The CM told the PM that Punjab’s people had sacrificed their lives in the freedom struggle and for the unity of the country.
Evades queries on Navjot Singh Sidhu
CM Channi did not take any questions on Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and the ongoing deadlock in the state over key appointments he has made. When asked what he had to say on Sidhu, the CM deflected the issue telling reporters, “What kind of intelligence do you have that you came to know even before me that I had a 40 minute talk with the PM? We are proud of you.”
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