Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 20
With media highlighting an RTI response contradicting the Centre’s claim on the farm laws, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday alleged it was now obvious that the Akalis and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had been spreading lies in collusion with the BJP-led central government to damage the interests of the farmers.
Media reports, citing a reply by the Planning Commission to a Right to Information (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 Chief Minister, was in stark contrast to the claims of the central government, which both the SAD and AAP had been parroting in an apparent bid to promote the BJP’s anti-farmer agenda.
Minister of State for Food Danve Raosaheb Dadarao had claimed before the Lok Sabha that the high-powered committee had approved the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, which Capt Amarinder had categorically rejected.
Capt Amarinder said far from basing the farm laws on the discussions and decisions of the CMs’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.
“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 only participated by secretary-level officials, he added.
The CM lambasted the 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 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 Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on the basis of this false propaganda, the Chief Minister said she continued to spread the lies 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 Captain Amarinder had consented to the farm laws as part of the committee.
Dubbing the SAD as a fake champion of the farmers, he demanded an unequivocal apology to the people of Punjab by Harsimrat.
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