Even as he made it clear that there was no question of sabotaging the farmers’ agitation against the farm laws, which his own government was vehemently opposed to, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday said no violation of the weekend lockdown and other restrictions in the state could be allowed at any cost, given the current grim situation.
“There are lives at stake, saving them is our priority, and it is the responsibility of every Punjabi to save them,” said the Chief Minister, urging BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) and BKU (Ekta Dakaunda) leaders not to give a twist to his Friday’s comments on the issue.
Amid the call of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha to oppose the weekend lockdown, the Chief Minister had on Friday asked the Director General of Police to strictly enforce all the weekend restrictions and not allow any violation at any cost.
Despite the farmer leaders’ appeals to the shopkeepers, shops across the state largely remained closed in the state on Saturday.
Leaders of two farm organisations had misinterpreted his statement to raise doubts about his intentions towards the ongoing farmers’ stir against the ‘black’ farm laws, said the Chief Minister.
“How can my government go against the interests of the farmers when it was the first in the country to move the amendment laws in the Vidhan Sabha to annul the draconian farm laws of the Central government?” asked the Chief Minister, asserting as far as the Central laws were concerned, his government’s stand against them had been clear and consistent.
Noting that the situation in the state was extremely grim, the Chief Minister said, “This is not the time to play politics but to put all our energies into protecting the life of every human being.”
Appealing to the farmers to extend all support and cooperation to the state in its endeavour to combat the Covid crisis, the Chief Minister said the lives and safety of the people of Punjab were of paramount interest to his government.
He reiterated that he would not allow anyone to further endanger the lives of Punjabis amid the escalating Covid crisis.
The state government said Amarinder Singh had stood with the farmers in their fight against the draconian black farm laws since the outset and continues to do so, as it strong believes them to be a direct threat to the very existence and livelihood of the farmers.
But at the moment, his government was completely focused on saving the lives of the people, while ensuring that they do not suffer due to the harsh measures, he said, pointing out that to alleviate the sufferings of the people, he had even asked the Deputy Commissioners to allow opening of even non-essential shops and private offices on a rotation basis.