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Friday, 27 November 2020 | PNS | Chandigarh

Strongly condemning the use of brutal force by the Haryana Government “in a futile bid to stop the agitating farmers from going to Delhi”, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder termed it as “an assault on their constitutional and democratic right to protest”.

At the same time, he urged the Delhi Government to earmark for them a place to sit peacefully to highlight their concerns on the Farm Laws.

Recalling that he had led MLAs from Punjab to sit on a symbolic dharna last month at an allotted place at Jantar Mantar, the Chief Minister said that something similar can be done for the farmers so that they can exercise their democratic right to speak and share their views with the national media.

“Hasn’t the BJP sat at Ramlila Maidan on protest rallies in the past? Why should the farmers not be allowed to go to their own capital city and speak out against the Farm Laws if they want to,” asked the Chief Minister, urging the ML Khattar Government in Haryana to allow the agitated farmers to pass through the national highway to take their voice to Delhi peacefully.

Pointing out that the farmers were not violating any law or indulging in violence, Capt Amarinder said that the attempts to stop them were “not good for democracy.” Actions can lead to counter-reactions, especially from the thousands of youngsters who were among the agitating farmers, he warned, adding that he was surprised at Khattar’s remarks.

The ML Khattar government’s actions were against the Constitutional spirit and against the famers’ freedom of speech, and in bad taste, said the Chief Minister, adding that “either we have a Constitution in India or we don’t, and if we do have one then every person has the right and freedom to speech, thought and action.”

Questioning the rationale behind stopping the farmers, who in any case were breaking barricades to move forward, the Chief Minister said, “The tyrannical use of brute force against peacefully protesting farmers is totally undemocratic and unconstitutional.”

Hoping that the farmer leaders would go for December 3 meeting convened by the Centre, Capt Amarinder stressed that confrontation was no solution and both sides had to sit across the table to resolve the issue. He urged the Central Government to provide a legal or constitutional assurance on MSP to the farmers. “If the Centre does not want to amend the Farm Laws, they should amend the Food Security Act and also incorporate the same into the APMC Act,” he said.

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