BJP president JP Nadda on Wednesday slammed Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for the continued suspension of good trains to the state, saying that he and his party are responsible for this situation as they openly encouraged agitations against the farms laws. Punjab Chief Minister Singh had on Sunday written an open letter to Nadda expressing concern over the continued suspension of goods trains by the railways and warned of its dangerous consequence on national security and on the armed forces.
He had said that the situation could become extremely dangerous for the country if the armed forces are deprived of critical supplies amid increasingly aggressive overtures from both China and Pakistan. Replying to Singh, Nadda said he shares the Punjab Chief Minister's concern about the situation in the state, "but in my view you are fully responsible for the unfortunate situation that has emerged in the State of Punjab".
"The Government of India is very keen to run trains in the State of Punjab, but unfortunately you are not performing the role that is expected of you and your Government in the State of Punjab, Nadda said in the letter. Underlining that the three farm laws brought by the Modi government are in farmers' interest, Nadda said, "Unfortunately, you (Singh) and your party (Congress) started opposing these acts crossing all limits of decency and propriety." He further alleged that both Singh and the Congress openly encouraged agitations against these laws in Punjab, participated in dharnas and rallies and openly issued very provocative statements encouraging agitations.
"Your government added fuel to the fire by openly declaring that you will not lodge any FIR against the agitators, even if they indulge in road dharnas, railway tracks blocking, etc., Nadda wrote to Singh. Asserting that BJP keeps the farmers in high esteem and is always committed to take all positive steps for their betterment, Nadda said minimum support price (MSP) of paddy and wheat increased by 43 per cent and 41 per cent respectively between 2013-14 and today, and the total value of procurement of the two crops rose by 138 per cent and 122 per cent respectively.
Even in the current Kharif season, compared to last year, paddy procurement has increased by 30 per cent in Punjab and 19 per cent across India. "All the above are proof of BJP's sincerity towards the farmers of Punjab," Nadda said. The farmers' agitation in Punjab began around September 24 when they started blocking railway tracks and stations demanding repeal of the three agriculture related bills. Farmers in Punjab have expressed apprehension that the Central farm reform laws would pave the way for dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the "mercy" of big corporates.