Condemning the issuance of notices by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to several farmers and their supporters in the midst of the anti-farm laws agitation, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Monday said that “such arm-twisting tactics would not weaken the resolve of the farmers to fight for their rights and their future”.
“Do these farmers look like secessionists and terrorists?,” asked the Chief Minister, slamming the BJP-led government at the Centre for resorting to “such reprehensible and oppressive tactics in their desperation to undermine the peacefully protesting farmers’ fighting spirit”.
“these measures will not succeed in destroying the resolve of the farmers, rather the Centre will only end up provoking them into stronger reaction”.
Questioning the intent of Centre, which he said “seemed bent on pushing the farmers over the edge through such intimidatory actions”, Amarinder warned that “BJP’s most powerful minds will not be able to control the situation if things get irretrievably out of hand.”
He added: “Instead of resolving the crisis triggered by the draconian legislations, the BJP-led central government was resorting to victimisation and harassment of the protesting farmers and their supporters.”
CM dubbed it “a regressive step that would lead to further hardening of the farmers’ stance”.
It was obvious, he said that the Centre “neither cared for the farmers and their concerns, nor understood their psyche”.
“Punjabis are fighters by nature, they are imbued with the fighting spirit which makes them among the best warriors in the world,” he said, adding that the “Centre’s coercive actions will only provoke the farmers from Punjab to react negatively”.
CM expressed shock over the union government’s “unrelenting opposition to the farmers’ genuine and justified demands and its total failure to empathise with the cause and concerns of the farmers who have been braving the record cold of Delhi, with many of them succumbing to the harsh weather and prolonged exposure”.
Pointing to the I-T notices issued to several arhtiyas of Punjab about a month ago and the recent NIA notices “that were clearly aimed at pressurising the farmers into withdrawing their stir,” Amarinder said “Not only had the Centre been standing on ego in its adamant refusal to repeal the black farm Laws, it was actively and shamelessly indulging in strong-arm tactics to suppress the voice of the farmers.”
He added “These low-level actions will not suppress the voice of the farmers, or those millions of Indians who are supporting the `annadaatas’ in their battle for survival.”
He further said “if the central government had any shame left it should immediately withdraw the farm laws and sit down across the table with all the stakeholders, especially the farmers, to usher in an era of genuine agricultural reforms.”