18 January 2021, Chandigarh: Condemning the issuance of NIA notices to several farmers and their supporters in the midst of the anti-Farm Laws agitation, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on 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. But these measures will not succeed in destroying the resolve of the farmers, rather the Centre will only end up provoking them into stronger reaction, he said, questioning the intent of the Government of India, which he said seemed bent on pushing the farmers over the edge through such intimidatory actions. Captain Amarinder warned that BJP’s most powerful minds will not be able to control the situation if things get irretrievably out of hand.
Instead of resolving the crisis triggered by the draconian legislations, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led central government was resorting to victimisation and harassment of the protesting farmers and their supporters, the Chief Minister pointed out, dubbing it a regressive step that would lead to further hardening of the farmers’ stance.
It was obvious, said the Chief Minister, that the BJP-led NDA government 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.
Captain Amarinder expressed shock over the Government of India’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. 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 said, pointing to the IT notices issued to several big Arhtiyas of Punjab about a month ago and now the NIA notices that were clearly aimed at pressurising the farmers into withdrawing their stir.
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, said the Chief Minister, adding that 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.