Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said farmer protests were not at all in the interest of the state and told farmer unions to stop protesting in Punjab and, instead, focus on other parts of India. The chief minister said the ongoing protests at 113 places in the state were impacting economic development.

He was delivering an address after laying the foundation stone of Government College at Mukhliana village in Chabbewal assembly constituency. He said he was hopeful that agitating farmers would accede to his.

Amarinder said, “If the farmers are to hold dharnas, they should move to Haryana and Delhi instead of Punjab”, he said in his address.

He urged farmer unions not to hold protests in Punjab as the state government and people of Punjab had already expressed solidarity with them.

He, however, expressed concern over the inordinate delay by the Centre in meeting demands made by farmers. The CM further said instead of holding protests in the state, they should mount pressure on the central government to get the “draconian and anti-farmer” farm laws.

Accusing the Shiromani Akali Dal of “duping” farmers over the issue of the new farm laws, the CM alleged that the laws were drafted with the consent of the Akalis. He claimed Harsimrat Kaur Badal and even former CM Parkash Singh Badal had argued in favour of the laws, but made a “U-turn” on them later.

The CM said the Constitution had been amended 127 times since 1950. “So why not one more time to repeal the farm laws for providing succour to farmers who have been sitting at Singhu and Tikri borders?” he asked, adding that the Punjab government had given Rs 5 lakh to the kin of every farmer from the state who had died during the agitation.

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