Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday congratulated farmers over the “triumphant” culmination of their over year-long agitation against the Centre’s three contentious farm laws.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of 40 farm unions, on Thursday decided to suspend the agitation and announced that farmers will return home on December 11 from the protest sites at Delhi’s borders.
Singh, who is the chief of the Punjab Lok Congress (PLC), hoped the development would pave the way for a more constructive political environment for the progress of the farming community, which constitutes the backbone of India’s economic growth and sustainability.
In a statement issued here, Singh said he was happy ”the farmers’ fight had reached its logical conclusion and the Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments had agreed in principle to follow his own erstwhile government’s decision in Punjab to compensate the families of farmers who had lost their lives during the agitation”.
The Amarinder Singh government in Punjab had announced Rs 5 lakh in financial aid and a job for a member each of the deceased farmers’ families in December 2020 and January 2021, respectively.
The former chief minister expressed relief that the agitating farmers, farm labourers and their families will finally be back in the warm comfort of their homes after camping at Delhi’s borders since November last year.
Singh hoped the lingering issue of minimum support price, for which the Centre had constituted a committee, would also be resolved soon to the satisfaction of the farmers.
He hoped all future legislations and decisions concerning the farming community, which has been at the forefront of India’s progressive march since Independence, would be taken in the spirit of mutual agreement, after due consultation with all the stakeholders.
Asserting his party’s unequivocal support for the farmers, Singh said, as in the past, he would continue to do everything in his power to protect their interests and ensure their welfare.
Singh pointed out that as the chief minister of Punjab, he had not only supported the farmers’ fight for the repeal of the farm laws but had ensured that they were not, in any way, harassed even when they were protesting across the state or marching towards Delhi.
In June 2020, he had convened an all-party meeting to seek repeal of what were then the three farm ordinances, pointed out the former chief minister.
His government had followed it up with a resolution rejecting the ordinances, which was passed by the Punjab Assembly in August, he added.
”These initiatives were in sharp contrast to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which was outright condemning the farmers’ stir after being instrumental in bringing in the ordinances, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which was busy implementing one of the farm laws in Delhi, while the farmers were fighting with their lives out on the roads,” said Singh.
He noted that he had personally interacted with the farmer bodies as well as the central government leadership at various levels over the last 18 months to seek an amicable resolution to the issue, to the satisfaction of the farmers.
Singh had faced an unceremonious exit in September when he was forced to resign as the Punjab chief minister amid a power tussle with Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Later, Amarinder Singh floated his own party — Punjab Lok Congress — to fight the assembly elections.
(This story has not been edited by Out staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)