Chandigarh, October 15: Even as he reiterated his appeal to the farmers to ease their Rail Roko to allow the transportation of critical essentials, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday blamed the central government for failing to resolve the power crisis resulting from the farmers’ agitation due to the arrogant and callous attitude towards the Kisan Unions at yesterday’s meeting.

The Chief Minister said while three of his cabinet colleagues were in discussion with the farmer unions to persuade them to lift the rail blockade, which had led to serious coal shortage in the state, it was the duty of the Union Government to engage with them. Pointing out that two power units at Lehra Mohabat and a unit of GVK in Tran Taran had already shut down, he said the state was staring at a massive power shortage.

In his #AskCaptain Facebook Live session, Captain Amarinder, in response to a question from a Bathinda resident, said the state was facing critical shortage of urea and coal, and also needed to urgently move foodgrain from godowns, which was currently impeded by the Rail Roko Andolan.

The Chief Minister said that there is a suggestion that the state should purchase power from the central grid “but where is the money?” He pointed out that the state government was providing free power to farmers and was facing a serious shortage of diesel too. “We need to seriously think about these problems,” he said, appealing to the farmers to lift their blockade to allow movement of these goods.

Asserting his government’s commitment to do everything possible to protect the rights of the farmers, who had been hit hard by the Centre’s malicious Farm Laws, the Chief Minister said his government had decided to convene a special session of the Vidhan Sabha on 19th October to find the way forward. “I will do everything in my power to save the farmers and their future,” he said, responding to a Ferozepur resident. Besides calling the Assembly session, his government was consulting topmost lawyers to find a way to fight the black farm laws, he said.

However, he said in response to a Gurdaspur citizen’s question that he could not comment on the contours of the Bill proposed to be presented in the special Assembly session as the process of consultation was still on.

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