25 January 2021, Chandigarh, IN: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said the attack on a state Congress MP and MLA at Singhu Border was not the handiwork of the peacefully protesting farmers but of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers, whose only agenda was to weaken the farmers’ fight by creating trouble at the behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The farmers had been protesting peacefully at the Delhi border for two months without resorting to any such acts, he pointed out, adding that AAP workers present near the Kisan Sansad had attacked and manhandled Punjab Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu and MLA Kulbir Singh Zira. “AAP is camping there,” he said, asserting that “No one but AAP is responsible for the attack. “Farmers are not responsible,” he added.
They (AAP) should understand, however, that this country is thriving on `lokshahi’ (democracy) and not `dhakashahi’ (push and shove), said the Chief Minister, speaking with mediapersons on the sidelines of various events here in Patiala.
Intelligence reports indicate that AAP workers had intermingled with farmers and assaulted the Congress leaders, the Chief Minister said later, adding that the AAP’s desperate attempts to undermine him and his government in Punjab were becoming more and more brazen by the day. After their efforts to spread false propaganda and lies about the Congress government in Punjab had failed to mislead the farmers, they had resorted to violence against Bittu and Zira, he said.
The farmers had no reason to assault the Punjab Congress leaders, Captain Amarinder said, adding that “such tactics would not help AAP drive a wedge between his government and the farmers, which they have been trying to do for months now at the bidding of Arvind Kejriwal, who is clearly dancing to the BJP leadership’s tune.”
Meanwhile, in response to a question during his media interaction, the Chief Minister said he was hopeful that the farmers’ Tractor March tomorrow would be peaceful. The farmer leaders and Kisan Unions fighting the black Farm Laws understand the gravity of the situation and will not do anything to damage their own efforts, he added.
Asked about the source of funding to the farmers’ agitation, Captain Amarinder said he did not know anything about funding from Pakistan. Funds are coming to the farmers and their villages from their supporters and well-wishers, and those connected with farming, from within and outside India, he added.
Slamming AAP for misleading people on the issue of the high powered committee on Agriculture, the Chief Minister quipped, “Raghav Chadha needs to check his facts before shooting from his mouth. When the first meeting of the committee was held, Punjab was not a member and was included in the committee only after he wrote a letter to the Centre, said Captain Amarinder, adding that the second meeting saw financial issues being discussed, with Manpreet Badal in attendance, while the last had only Agriculture Secretary Kahan Singh Pannu as the invited participant.
Castigating the Union Government for encroaching upon the rights of the States, Captain Amarinder pointed out that even though Agriculture is a State subject, the Union Government is hell bent upon damaging the federal structure of the country.