Akalis' farmer protest a petty political stunt, says Pb CM

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Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday dubbed the Akali protest along with a handful of farmers near the Vidhan Sabha as a petty political stunt undertaken with an eye on the ensuing Lok Sabha polls.

Even as he lashed out at the Akalis and Lok Insaaf party MLAs for walking out during the Governor’s address in the House on the first day of the Budget Session, the Chief Minister said the Akalis had failed to do anything for the farmers for 10 years and were now resorting to all kinds of cheap tactics in a desperate bid to mislead them on the issue of farm debt waiver.

His government had already helped 5.83 lakh farmers with its debt relief scheme and would soon cover all 10.25 lakh small and marginal farmers in the state, Captain Amarinder Singh said, adding that the Akalis’ attempts to undermine these efforts would backfire on them.

The Opposition walkout was a clear case of `badtameezi’ (rudeness) against the head of the state, said the Chief Minister in an informal chat with mediapersons in the State Assembly precincts after the Governor’s speech.

The problem with the Opposition was that it had no issues to raise in the House and were thus trying to divert public attention by making noise on non-issues, he added.

They (the opposition) needed to function in line with the democratic principles on which the parliamentary institution was founded if the Constitution of the country was to be upheld, said Captain Amarinder Singh. He urged the Akalis and other opposition parties to play a constructive role in the interests of the people of the state.

Responding to a question, the Chief Minister said the SIT set up on the recommendation of the House was probing the Behbal Kalan firing case and any action by his government would depend on the conclusion of its investigations.

Whoever is found guilty of the crime against innocent people would be punished as per the law, he said, adding that nobody would be spared, irrespective of their status or political affiliations.

On the Ludhiana rape case, Captain Amarinder Singh said the police were investigating the matter and some suspects had been detained. The case will be cracked soon, he said.

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