Farmers march to Delhi, but Punjab and Haryana CMs are fighting on Twitter
The war of words between Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar has escalated with the Captain slamming the latter for accusing him of inciting farmers to march to Delhi.
In an interview to news agency ANI, Captain Amarinder said: "Shocked at your response M L Khattarji. It's the farmers who've to be convinced on MSP, not me. You should've tried to talk to them before their Dilli Chalo. And if you think I am inciting farmers then why are Haryana farmers also marching to Delhi?"
"As for endangering lives during COVID-19, have you forgotten that it was BJP-led central govt that pushed through those farm laws amid the pandemic, uncaring about the impact they'd have on our farmers? Why didn't you speak out then," he asked Khattar.
The Punjab chief minister's response came after Khattar asked him to desist from misleading farmers. "@Capt Amarinder Ji, I’ve said it earlier and I am saying it again, I will leave politics if there will be any trouble on the MSP -- therefore, please stop inciting innocent farmers," Khattar tweeted.
"I have been trying to reach out to you for the last 3 days but, sadly, you have decided to stay unreachable -- is this how serious you are for farmers' issues? You’re only tweeting and running away from talks, why?" Khattar said in another tweet.
Earlier in the day, Amarinder warned the Haryana government against pushing the farmers to brink. Taking to Twitter, he said: "For nearly 2 months farmers have been protesting peacefully in Punjab without any problem. Why is Haryana govt provoking them by resorting to force? Don't the farmers have the right to pass peacefully through a public highway?"
"It's a sad irony that on Constitution Day 2020, the constitutional right of farmers is being oppressed in this manner. Let them pass ML Khattar ji, don't push them to the brink. Let them take their voice to Delhi peacefully. Urge BJP to direct their state governments not to indulge in such strong-arm tactics against the farmers. The hands that feed the nation deserve to be held, not pushed aside."
Meanwhile, even as thousands of protesting farmers assembled at various places along the Haryana borders in Punjab, the Haryana Police has issued an advisory against travelling through entry points to Delhi on National Highway No 10 (Hisar-Rohtak-Delhi) and National Highway 44 (Ambala-Panipat-Delhi)
Haryana DGP Manoj Yadava said, "Our field units today tried to prevent farmers coming from Punjab from entering Haryana in a restrained manner at the district border points. The police also tried to convince them by establishing barricades. But the agitating farmers not only damaged the police barricades, but proceeded by removing all the blockades and obstructions in an unlawful manner. Acting with restraint, police did not use force on the agitating farmers. On the contrary, the farmers took an aggressive stand and tried to disturb the law and order by pelting stones at the police in many places. In this entire episode, not only a number of police personnel were injured but police and private vehicles were also damaged."