No question of sabotaging farmers’ stir, but can’t allow violation of covid curbs, says Punjab CM

Says he and his govt are with farmers on farm laws, but priority now is to save lives 

No question of sabotaging farmers’ stir, but can’t allow violation of covid curbs, says Punjab CM

Chandigarh: 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 Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday reiterated that 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 Dakaounda) leaders not to give a twist to his yesterday’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 DGP to strictly enforce all the weekend restrictions and not allow any violation at any cost. Nobody can be allowed to play with the lives of the people, he reiterated today

Leaders of  two 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 that 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 that as on May 6, the state had 24-hour case load of 8874 , 154 deaths, 265 patients admitted in isolation facility, 30 patients on High Dependency Unit  and 16 on Ventilator Support. “This is not the time to play politics but to put all our energies into protecting the life of every human being,” he said.

Appealing to the farmers to extend all support and cooperation to the State Government 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 Captain Amarinder, had stood with the farmers in their fight against the draconian black farm laws by the Centre 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 DCs to allow opening of even non-essential shops and private offices on rotation basis.