Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: While Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party welcomed the decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on repealing the farm laws but at the same time they slammed the BJP for taking the decision too late. On the other hand, saffron party leaders hailed Modi for the decision.

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi termed the Centre’s decision to repeal all three farm laws as much delayed but a welcome step. Channi said that had Prime Minister Narendra Modi taken this decision much earlier several precious lives would have been saved.

The CM blamed the Centre for thrusting these black farm laws arbitrarily on the farmers without taking them into confidence, and said: “The BJP-led Central government should admit on record to have made a Himalayan blunder by bringing these bills for which it hardly bothered for the past one and half years.”

Channi said that incidents such as Lakhimpur Kheri which happened during the anti-farm law protest has put a slur on democracy and the people will never forgive BJP for its misdeeds.

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The CM further said that now when the Prime Minister has announced to withdraw these farm laws, he should also compensate the kin of the farmers adequately for losses of life and property. Channi also appealed to the Prime Minister to immediately announce a financial package to relieve farmers and labourers reeling under the huge burden of debt. He also urged the Centre to make its stand crystal clear on Minimum Support Price and public procurement of farmers’ crops.

Former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh also thanked PM Modi for repealing the three farm laws on the pious occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. “I’m sure the central government will continue to work in tandem for the development of the farmers,” he added.

Five-time former CM Parkash Singh Badal described PM Modi’s announcement on withdrawal of three laws on farming as “a defining moment in history,” and said that it marks a historic day for the farmers on the  sacred day of  Guru Nanak Dev Prakash purb.”

Bemoaning that the farmers were not consulted before enacting these laws, the former Chief Minister said, “It was the first time in the history of democratic governments that brazen and cruel laws were made without even taking the stakeholders on board. No government should ever do such an insensitive and cruel thing again.”

Badal said that this decision will have implications far beyond the farmers and will have a wide-ranging and long-lasting impact on the struggle for justice for the poor and the deprived across the world.

He asked centre and state governments to stand by the martyrs’ families with liberal help in the form of government jobs and financial assistance. 

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Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party, Punjab president and MP Bhagwant Mann termed the announcement by Modi to repeal the three agricultural laws as a victory of the farmers. He said that the Aam Aadmi Party had already been raising the voice of the farmers from the streets to Parliament and would continue to demand tributes and fair compensation to the martyred farmers during the winter session of Parliament starting from November 29.

“The Modi led central government has delayed the repeal of the black farm laws and nearly 700 farmers were killed during the one-year struggle. The Modi government are responsible for the martyrdom of the farmers. It would have been better if the Prime Minister had also announced MSP on 23 crops then the farmers would have happily returned to their fields,’’ he said.

Senior Punjab BJP leader Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina said the announcement came at the auspicious occasion of Parkash Purab of Guru Nanak Dev, which is evident of PM Modi’s commitment to the common man and farmers.

Chhina, who met PM as part of the party’s delegation last week, said the issue was discussed threadbare and the PM listened to them patiently. “He is a true democratic leader and seeing the sentiments prevailing he has decided to repeal the laws, which is a welcome step.’’

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Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal, while welcoming the announcement to repeal the three farm laws said that for more than a year since the Central Government had brought three agriculture laws for the benefit of farmers especially small and marginal one’s, unfortunately, some farmers unions had been protesting on the Delhi borders.

“Today Narendra Modi while once again choosing the larger public interest announced to repeal these laws. However, soon after the introduction of these laws, a large number of farmers had considered these laws beneficial for them and had also appreciated the Central Government, ‘’ he said.

“Like Prime Minister, I would also urge farmers sitting on Delhi borders, to immediately end their protest and return to their homes, as the common man is also facing a lot of difficulties due to this agitation. Now, a positive attitude should be adopted towards this issue,’’ he said.

He said that the Prime Minister has also said that a committee will be constituted for considering the demands of the farmers related to MSP. “ In this committee representatives of farmer unions, state governments and scientists will also be included. I hope a decision in this regard will also be taken soon, said the Chief Minister, ‘’ he said.

BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh said that it would go a long way in removing misunderstandings in the mind of farmers. He said the prime minister has always made sincere efforts to improve the plight of farmers as a result he launched a number of farmers welfare schemes that have benefitted farmers in a big way.