Amid the farmers-police face-off over the 'Delhi Chalo' protest over farm laws, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday said the voice of farmers cannot be "muzzled" and asked the BJP-led Centre to hold talks immediately with peasants to defuse the situation.
Singh questioned as to why the Centre was waiting for December 3 for holding talks with farmers when the situation is getting out of control now. "The voice of farmers cannot be muzzled indefinitely. Centre should immediately initiate talks with Kisan Union leaders to defuse the tense situation at the Delhi borders. Why wait till December 3 when the situation is getting out of hand now?" said Singh in a tweet.
The Delhi Police on Friday used tear gas shells and water cannons to stop farmers from entering the national capital as part of their 'Delhi Chalo' march to protest against the Centre's new farm laws.
Despite heavy security deployment, groups of farmers from Punjab managed to reach near two Delhi border points on Friday morning after breaking police barricades in Haryana. Singh further asked the Centre to show statesmanship and accept the farmers' demand for assured minimum support price.
Central govt needs to show statesmanship and accept the farmers' demand for assured MSP, which is the basic right of every farmer. If they can give verbal assurance I fail to understand why they can't make it a legal obligation of the GoI, said the Punjab chief minister.
Singh also called those people who alleged that the Congress was instigating farmers, as blind and said that farmers were fighting for lives and livelihood. "Those claiming it's @INCIndia that's instigating the farmers are blind not to see the lakhs of farmers trying to enter Delhi from across the country. It's a fight for their lives & livelihoods & they don't need any backing or provocation", he said in another tweet.
Farmers have been protesting against the Centre's three farm laws. They have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave a way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporates. They have been demanding that these new laws should be repealed. The Centre has invited several Punjab farm bodies for another of talks in Delhi on December 3.