Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has demanded immediate scrapping of the three farm laws.
Speaking at the online inauguration of a two-day virtual Kisan Mela at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in Ludhiana on Friday (September 17), Singh said the Centre should have a detailed discussion with farmers to find a way forward.
The Punjab CM said many farmers had died in the protests and said that it was high time for the Centre to realize its “blunder” and withdraw the laws “in the interest of the farmers and the nation”.
“Till date, the Indian Constitution has been amended as many as 127 times, so why can it not be amended once again to scrap the farm laws and resolve the imbroglio resulting from them?” said the Chief Minister.
Singh also said that he had been asked by the Centre to stop farmers of Punjab from going to Delhi last November and that he had straight away refused to do so, as the protests are ‘democratic rights of farmers.’ “Why should they not protest? How can I stop them?” he asked, wearing a ‘#nofarmers_nofood badge’, making his stand against the laws clear.
These statements from Singh come after he received a lot of flak for his statements on September 13, when he bluntly asked the farmers to move out of Punjab and protest in Delhi, as the protests were affecting the economy of the state.
The CM said that with only 1.53 percent of the total geographical area, Punjab produces about 18 percent of India’s wheat, 11 percent paddy, 4.4 percent cotton and 10 percent milk. “For the past many decades, Punjab has been contributing about 35-40 percent of wheat and 25-30 percent of rice to the central pool,” he added.
The Chief Minister pointed out that the state had attained a record wheat productivity (5188 kg/ha) and production (182.6 lakh tons) during 2018-19. Apart from that, Punjab also achieved a record rice productivity (4366 kg/ha) and production (133.8 lakh tons) during 2017-18, and record cotton productivity (827 kg lint/ha) during 2019-20. He said that credit for the record cultivation goes to the farmers and the PAU’s improved agricultural technologies developments.