Chandigarh, September 28: Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Charanjit Singh Channi on Tuesday appealed to the Centre to immediately repeal the three black farm laws otherwise his government would convene a special session of Vidhan Sabha to reject these anti-farm laws outrightly to safeguard the interest of the farmers and farm laborers, who are already passing through the acute economic crisis.
Addressing the media persons here at Chief Minister’s Office, Mr. Channi said he had already asked the then Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to reject these laws but the Cabinet at that time authorized him to take any decision, as he deems fit. He, however, chose to bring the amended bills instead of rejecting these draconian farm legislations.
Urging the Centre to give due recognition to the border state of Punjab for its unprecedented sacrifices to uphold the country’s integrity and sovereignty, Mr. Channi said that the Centre should not try to foment trouble in the state like J&K rather it should sincerely resolve the ongoing farm crisis at the earliest in the larger interest of the country.
Reiterating his firm commitment to stand by the farmers and the Samyukt Kisan Morcha in this hour of crisis, the Chief Minister said that he would even lead a mammoth march towards Delhi either by foot or on bi-cycle to support their cause in case the Centre doesn’t concede their demand to repeal these laws forthwith.
Expressing solidarity with the farmers and the farm laborers in their ongoing agitation against these farm laws, the Chief Minister categorically said that he would support their concerns. He bemoaned that these laws would ultimately perish the state’s peasantry as our beleaguered farmers are already reeling under whopping debt to the tune of Rs.1 lac crore and thus the Centre should now come forward to bail them out from this financial crisis. Mr. Channi said it is ironic that ‘Anndaata’ has been virtually forced to become ‘Bhikhari’ due to the Centre’s apathy and stubborn attitude. “If Centre can afford to waive the huge loans of big corporate houses what stops it from waiving the loans of poor and needy farmers?” quipped Mr. Channi. He, however, said that the state government had already provided relief to the small and marginal farmers up to Rs.2 lac and now farm laborers are also being extended relief to the extent of Rs.25,000, with whatever little resources it had.
Extending a healing touch to the victim families of the deceased farmers, who lost their lives during the stir against these farm laws, the Chief Minister said his government has provided government jobs to their family members besides giving financial assistance of Rs.5 lac per family.
Touching an emotional chord, the Chief Minister shared an incident where he personally handed over an appointment letter recently to such a family who was living in extremely deplorable conditions in a house even without a roof. He said the victim of that family in Bathinda district was constructing the house with the financial aid of Rs. 5 lac received from the government.
Listing his government’s priority to provide houses to houseless, the Chief Minister said that the process of allotment of 5-marla plots is being simplified and has now empowered the BDPOs to decide the cases after the resolution passed by the concerned village panchayats. The entire process to identify and finalize the allotment of plots to the eligible beneficiaries would be completed within a month, added Mr. Channi.