Chandigarh, October 20
In a major show of strength, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, flanked by leaders of Punjab Congress, AAP and SAD, on Tuesday expressed the optimism that the Governor will listen to the voice of Punjab but said his government was all set to take legal recourse if Mr. VPS Badnore does not sign the amendment Bills passed in the Vidhan Sabha to save the farmers and agriculture.
The Chief Minister said he had sought time from the President of India between November 2 and 5, and all Punjab legislators will together go to him to seek his intervention in the interest of the state. He said he did not think the Centre could afford to ignore the voice of Punjab and hoped they would realise that killing MSP would spell the death knell for farming.
Punjab’s future and national security were both at stake, he said, adding that the coming together of all the parties to fight for the same was a good thing for the state. Expressing his gratitude for the support of all parties to the resolution and the Bills, the Chief Minister said the message that all of Punjab was united against the black Farm Laws will go out to farmers across the country.
He was addressing media persons outside Punjab Raj Bhavan after meeting Governor VPS Badnore and handing over to him copies of the Resolution and the state Bills which the Assembly had earlier passed unanimously. During the 20-minute meeting with the Governor, he was accompanied by PPCC president Sunil Jakhar, LOP Harpal Singh Cheema and SAD’s Sharan Jit Singh Dhillon and others MLAs.
Asked about the possibility of the Centre imposing President’s Rule in the state to scuttle the attempts to negate the Farm Laws, Captain Amarinder said “let’s wait and see…we will move step by step.” However, if the situation came to such a pass, the Centre would not need to dismiss him as he was carrying his resignation in his pocket and would give it willingly, rather than compromising on the interests of Punjab and its farmers, he said.
Referring to the absence of the two BJP MLAs from the House, the Chief Minister said this showed their lack of concern and love for the farmers. The Congress, in contrast, had already announced its unequivocal opposition to the central legislations, he added. The Chief Minister said his government will be bringing more pro-farm and pro-poor Bills in the House tomorrow.
In response to a question, Captain Amarinder said crores of rupees worth of paddy was lying in godowns and needed to be shifted out to make way for wheat. Coal stocks had run out and urea was in short supply, he said, adding that this was badly impacting both agriculture and industry in the state. He again appealed to the farmers to call off their Rail Roko agitation and carry out their protests through dharnas, which was their democratic right.
AAP’s Cheema later said they were all working together, rising above party lines, in the interest of the farmers, who were a priority for the state, while Dhillon warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi against dismissing Punjab as a small state which he could easily ignore.