Things decided in Delhi ‘too little, too late’, would have resolved farmers’ issue in first meeting: Punjab CM

Things decided in Delhi ‘too little, too late’, would have resolved farmers’ issue in first meeting: Punjab CM

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], January 30 (ANI): Noting that things are “decided in Delhi too little too late”, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has blamed the Centre for the delay in finding a solution to the demands of protesting farmers during multiple rounds of talks and said he would have “finished the issue on the first day”.
The Chief Minister told ANI that if the Centre wants the corporate sector to come in the farming sector, it should ensure that the old system is not impacted. He said the coming of corporates in food industry will lead to competition and benefit farmers.
He said the government had held 12 rounds of negotiations with protesting farmers and the matter should have been resolved.
Asked if police could have handled the protest by farmers in a better manner, he said the matter should have been resolved through negotiations and accused the government of “prolonging the matter”.
“Why do you need police? These things should be resolved with negotiations. They had twelve meetings with the farmers’. Had I been chairing the meeting, I would have finished the issue on the first day. What are you prolonging the matter for?”
The Chief Minister said he has been in politics for over five decades and has seen various phases including the violence in the state following the demand for Khalistan by anti-national elements.
He said terrorism also led to assassination of then Chief Minister Beant Singh.
“I have seen these things happening. It’s always that things are decided in Delhi on a question of too little too late,” he said.
The Chief Minister said he has sympathy with the farmers protesting against the three farm laws and that is why the Punjab Assembly passed its bills to negate the Centre’s laws.
“My sympathy is with the farmers. We were not consulted for those bills. When the bills were passed, we were the first ones to call the Punjab assembly and passed our own laws and negated their laws. The bills are still with the Governor. He hasn’t even forwarded it to Delhi,” the Chief Minister said.
Capt Amarinder Singh said he understands the problems of the farmers and the state also has farmers with very smallholdings.
“We are a farming state where 70 per cent live on farming. These people sitting there are not there just for the sake of going there. They know their situation. If suddenly you do away with MSP, what is going to be their resource for the year? What do you want to the arthiyas? Why do you want to do away with the Food Corporation of India that supports that MSP?” he asked.
“If you want to let the corporate houses come in, who is stopping them from coming. They are already there. It only compliments what is happening. In case if somebody wants to come and put up a corporate in the food industry, it will help us because there will be competition, and prices that farmers will get would be better. Provided you don’t do away with the old system. Let the old system be and let the new system complement it,” he said.
Asked about BJP’s allegation concerning Congress role in farmers’ agitation, Singh said he was being blamed.
“They are saying I am behind it. One minister called me and said if you (Singh) want to stop it, you can do it in three minutes. I said you got four intelligence agencies, are they sleeping there. They don’t know what’s happening in Punjab. If they don’t know what is happening in Punjab, how are they going to control the infiltration from Pakistan?”
“Today, they have realised that it is not anybody who is doing it. It is a movement that has been generated on its own,” he said.
Farmer unions have been protesting on the borders of Delhi since November 26 demanding repeal of three new farm laws. (ANI)

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