Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday took strong exception to the Governor summoning the state’s top brass instead of seeking a report directly from him, as home minister, on the law and order situation in response to the malicious and politically motivated attack of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
While the propaganda of the BJP on collapse of law and order in the state was nothing more than a tactic to divert attention from the Farm Laws issue and the resultant farmers’ agitation, if the Governor nevertheless had any concerns on the situation, he should have taken up the matter directly with him (Captain Amarinder) as custodian of the Home Portfolio, said the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister was reacting to the Governor summoning the Punjab Chief Secretary and DGP to question them on the alleged law and order problems in the state amid sporadic incidents of damage to some mobile towers.
Captain Amarinder slammed the state BJP leadership for adding fuel to the fire, with their irresponsible statements, in the already surcharged atmosphere triggered by the draconian Farm Laws. He termed it a vicious game-plan of the party to undermine the peaceful agitation of the farmers by terming a few minor incidents of damage to some mobile towers as a law and order problem.
“These damaged towers can be, and are being repaired, but what about the lives of the farmers lost in the bitter cold at the Delhi borders, where they continue to fight for their rights amid total apathy from the BJP-led government at the Centre?”, asked the Chief Minister. He expressed shock over the fact that not a single BJP leader had expressed any concern over the deaths of protesting farmers, including some by suicide. “The lost lives cannot be recovered,” he pointed out, asking the Punjab BJP leaders to stop politicizing a peaceful agitation with their ill-conceived comments.
Instead of the slandering of the farmers with terms like `Naxalites’, `Khalistanis’ etc., the BJP should press their central leadership in the Government of India to heed the voice of the `Annadaatas’ and revoke the black farm laws that were threatening the livelihood and future of the farming community. “At a time when the very existence of our farmers is at stake, the BJP leaders are busy indulging in petty politics and also dragging the Constitutional officer of the Governor into their unsavoury agenda,” he added.
Terming as `unfortunate’ the fact that the Governor had bowed to these antics of the BJP, the Chief Minister observed that it had taken just a day for the former to react to the state BJP leadership’s complaint of purported law and order collapse in Punjab. This was in sharp contrast to the prolonged delay in sending to the President the State Amendment Bills, passed by all political parties (barring BJP) in the Vidhan Sabha, for assent, he pointed out.
Captain Amarinder also mocked the BJP Punjab unit’s allegations of assault on democracy in Punjab by the Congress, calling it a shameless act of the pot calling the kettle black. “A party that has virtually destroyed every single democratic institution in the country has no business calling anyone else undemocratic,” he quipped.