Chandigarh: The High Powered Committee's minutes clearly show that the three contentious farm bills were never brought up or discussed in "any meeting" with the Government of Punjab or with any Punjab minister.
The minutes of the meeting with the Union Government have already been released in the public domain. Anyone who reads the minutes will note that the farm bills were neither brought up nor discussed, nor were they on the meeting agenda. This was stated by Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal in a press statement here today.
The Finance Minister added that he had already released the eight-page minutes of the meeting in the public domain on 18th September 2020. Further, to clarify any questions, he had addressed the entire issue in detail on 24th September, 2020. The video of the press conference is available in the public domain.
The minutes are attached with this press release.
"Instead of supporting the rights of farmers, the Aam Aadmi Party is parroting the same line that is being used by the BJP and the Akali Dal to sabotage and discredit the hard-working farmers," the Finance Minister said.
It is evident that the NDA government and AAP are working in cahoots with each other to sow confusion by misleading the people. “However, since the entire minutes are with the public, they know the truth,” the Finance Minister added. "It is thus surprising that when the minutes of the meeting of the High Powered Committee for Transformation of Indian Agriculture is already with the public, the issue is being raised again and again to confuse the farmers' agitation," Manpreet Singh Badal said.
It would have been good that instead of casting aspersions and trying to sabotage the farmer's cause, if AAP and Akali Dal were to lend support to the farmers, Manpreet Singh Badal said.
The Finance Minister added that the AAP press conference's timing is very intriguing as it comes when the protesting farmers have announced their tractor rally. "It seems that AAP and the Akali Dal are rattled that they have not been able to sow division among farmers, and they are acting like spokespersons of the NDA government.
The debate has now gone much beyond what AAP and the Akali Dal are trying to raise. The solution is to heed to the farmers' demands and take the same route that was adopted by the Punjab Government under the leadership of Capt Amarinder Singh in negating the bills.