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Mann responsible for breakdown of talks with farmers: Akali Dal

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Mann responsible for breakdown of talks with farmers: Akali Dal

Chandigarh, Feb 20 (IANS) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Tuesday held Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann responsible for the breakdown of talks between farmer unions and the Centre, stating the Chief Minister’s double talk during negotiations had failed the farming community and forced them on the path of agitation.

Senior SAD leader Prem Singh Chandumajra also appealed to the central government not to try to muzzle the peaceful protest of farmers, adding “in a democracy, peaceful protest is a fundamental right and farmers should be allowed to peacefully proceed to Delhi”.

He also appealed to the Centre to consider waiving off farmer loans saying “if lakhs of crores of loans of corporates can be waived, farmers, who contribute to the food security of the nation, should not be discriminated against”.

Chandumajra said Mann had practised duplicity during the last one week. “On one hand, he allowed the Haryana Police to fire tear gas shells and rubber pellets on farmers while on the other he misled the Centre as to the real demands of the farming community”.

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He said the Chief Minister had a lot of explaining to do. “He should tell why he ordered the Patiala Deputy Commissioner to give in writing demanding closure of internet services in the district. He should also tell why he did not try to protect the interests of the farmers before the central representatives by making the Centre aware of the seriousness of the situation”.

He said the Chief Minister’s insistence to play both sides besides bringing in his own agenda had muddled the entire atmosphere and led to the failure of the talks.

The SAD leader also demanded the Chief Minister explain why no case had been filed against Haryana Police personnel for attacking farmers in Punjab territory.

“The Chief Minister should also tell why no compensation has been paid to those martyred during the ongoing farmer agitation and why barricades put up in Punjab territory had not been removed.”

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He also demanded that the AAP government bring in legislation to guarantee minimum support price (MSP) for all crops which were not covered under the MSP regime in the forthcoming budget session as per the promise made by the Chief Minister.

–IANS

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