The fiery exchange between Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his Haryana counterpart ML Khattar went a notch higher on Sunday after Khattar claimed that he didn’t allow the farmers’ protest in his state in the view of the Covid-19 pandemic situation. He also questioned why Amarinder Singh allowed such a congregation in his state amid the ongoing pandemic.
“If he was so concerned about farmers spreading Covid-19 in Haryana whose track record in the pandemic remains extremely poor, he should not have stopped them within the state, but should have allowed them to move quickly to Delhi,” Singh said.
The verbal fight between the two neighbouring states began after Amarinder Singh denounced Haryana’s action of using “force” on farmers, which Khattar defended and said using water cannon and tear gas, according to him, was not using “force”.
“A man who can disown his own farmers and even go so far as to call them Khalistanis instead of standing by them in this hour of crisis clearly has no moral scruples about spreading lies,” the Punjab CM said after Khattar claimed that he wanted to talk to Amarinder on farmers’ issues but the Punjab chief minister was not available.
The farmers’ organisations, a majority of which have entered Delhi by Saturday, have refused to hold protest in Burari ground which they have termed as “an open jail”. “Instead of going to open jail in Burari, we’ve decided that we will gherao Delhi by blocking five main entry points to Delhi. We’ve got four months ration with us, so nothing to worry. Our Operations Committee will decide everything,” Bharatiya Kisan Union Krantikari (Punjab) president Surjeet S Phul told ANI.
Meanwhile, all Khaps of Haryana on Sunday decided to support the protesting farmers. “Khaps will gather tomorrow and proceed towards Delhi. We request the Centre to re-consider the farm laws. Everyone has a right to express themselves,” Sombir Sangwan, Haryana Khap Pradhan and Dadri MLA said.