Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said no Akali Dal leader, especially former Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, had the moral right to speak on the crisis triggered by the farm laws, which they could easily have averted when they were part of the Central government and party to each of its “anti-people decisions”.
In a hard-hitting response to Harsimrat Kaur’s “irresponsible claims and baseless allegations” against him with reference to his statement on the impact of the prolonged farmers’ stir in Punjab on the state’s economy, he slammed the Akali leader, saying “her politically motivated remarks which were nothing but a cover-up of her and her party’s failure to prevent the crisis that was of their own deliberate making”.
Ridiculing the former Union minister’s remarks that he was speaking the language of the BJP leadership, the Chief Minister said left to the ruling party at the Centre and in neighbouring Haryana, the farmers would not have even reached the Delhi borders to make their voice heard.
“I never asked the farmers to go to Delhi. They were forced to leave their homes and sit at the border of the national capital, facing the elements and even losing their lives, as a result of your coalition government’s acts of commission and omission,” he said, asking Harsimrat Kaur to “stop lying about her brazen complicity in the imposition of the farm laws on the farmers, not just of Punjab but the entire country”.
Dubbing as “atrocious” Harsimrat Kaur’s suggestion that the farmers should protest in Punjab while their fight was against the BJP-led government at the Centre, the Chief Minister quipped “it’s like asking someone to go to the western front to fight an enemy that is standing at the eastern border”.
“It was evident that the Akalis were trying to divert the farmers’ attention from the Centre to the state, with an eye on the Assembly polls, unmindful of the harm this would cause to the state and to the farmers themselves,” he added.
Taking a dig at Harsimrat Kaur’s claim of being “surprised and pained” at his remarks, the Chief Minister said “either she was deliberately lying or was totally dumb and apathetic to the plight of the state and its people”.
“It’s a joke coming from the leader of a party that misruled Punjab for 10 years and brought the state to the brink of complete ruination,” he quipped, asking Harsimrat Kaur “where her pain had disappeared for those 10 years when the SAD-BJP government was inflicting one injury after another on the people with their corrupt acts”.
“The Akali leaders never did understand or can understand the suffering of Punjab’s people, including its farmers,” he added.