- Farmers’ protest affects Punjab’s economy: Chief Minister Amarinder Singh
- Punjab government has passed set of bills to negate centre’s 3 farm laws
- Amarinder Singh had said his government could mediate Centre-farmer talks
The massive farmer protests on highways near Delhi will not only impact the economy of Punjab but also threaten “national security”, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said today after a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah, urging “both sides” to resolve the deadlock.
“Discussions are on between the farmers and the centre, there’s nothing for me to resolve. I reiterated my opposition in my meeting with the Home Minister and requested him to resolve the issue as it affects the economy of my state and the security of the nation,” said Amarinder Singh.
The Punjab Chief Minister called on Amit Shah in Delhi and held discussions on ways to resolve the current stand-off between the government and farmers protesting over new farm laws. Several leaders in the ruling BJP have accused Amarinder Singh of actively supporting the protesters.
The meeting was held as government held the second round of talks in a week with farmers’ representatives amid spiraling protests. The first meeting on Tuesday fell through as the farmers’ groups turned down the centre’s second pitch for a committee to discuss their objections to the farm laws.
Agitating farmers on Wednesday said today’s talks will be the “last chance” to call an emergency session of parliament and recall the controversial laws. The government is considering a written assurance to farmers that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) system will continue.
The Punjab chief minister and his Congress party have been supporting the farmers’ protest and the state Assembly had also passed a set of bills aimed at negating the centre’s farm legislation that was passed earlier this year.
Mr Singh had earlier said that he and his government were willing to mediate in the talks between the centre and the farmers in the collective interest of all.
The protesting farmers, a large number of whom are from Punjab, have been camping out at four busy border points of the national capital – Singhu, Noida, Ghazipur and Tikri – to press their demands, under heavy police deployment. They are demanding that the government withdraw the new farm laws if it wants them to end their stir.
At least three deaths have been recorded during these protests, which entered its eight day today. Farmers and opposition parties say it would be “inhuman” on the centre’s part – given the cold weather – to drag this out any further.