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Capt Amarinder Singh: PM Modi wants early resolution of farm issue. Farmers must understand that this must be part of a national perspective | News from the political pulse

Capt Amarinder Singh: PM Modi wants early resolution of farm issue.  Farmers must understand that this must be part of a national perspective |  News from the political pulse


Senior Punjab BJP leader and former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi and discussed various issues including the current farmers' agitation, the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and the issue of BJP's re-alliance with former ally Shiromani Akali Dal. (SAD). In an interview with The Indian Express, Amarinder spoke on a range of these issues. Excerpts:

How was your discussion with PM Modi?

I went to meet the Prime Minister because we hadn't seen each other for a long time. He and I were the chief ministers of Gujarat and Punjab (respectively) at the same time (2002-2007). Later, when I became the chief minister for the second time (in 2017), he was the prime minister. There is also this burning issue of farmers' agitation. I wanted to discuss it with him. It was a good meeting, where we discussed a number of issues.

What did PM Modi say about the farmers' protest?

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Center is trying to find a solution to the farmers' agitation. The Prime Minister is very sensitive to the problems of farmers. He wants a rapid resolution of the problem (agricultural agitation).

I have given my opinion to the Prime Minister on the matter. I can say that everyone in the Union government sympathizes with the farmers. But farmers also need to understand that this has to be part of a national perspective. If you want MSP to apply to all crops and all farmers, you also need to understand that half of India grows wheat and rice. Then they will get MSP for wheat and rice. This will not benefit the entire farmers of Punjab. They must take this into account.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi with former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh during a meeting in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi with former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh during a meeting in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

As Punjab CM, you allowed farmers to move to Delhi during their turmoil of 2020. Should they be allowed to do the same this time?

When I was CM, I dealt with the problem. I allowed them (farmers) to move to Delhi. But then there was violence. The Red Fort episode took place. Farmers now have to stay where they are and their representatives can go and meet the representatives of the Union government, as they do and hold meetings with them. Solutions emerge after dialogue. I think the agitating farmers sitting on the Haryana border are responsible farmers. They did not engage in any violence. I hope this will be resolved soon. There is no point in continuing and sitting on the roads. They also realize that the situation is not good. People are harassed and angry.

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Are you going to contest the Lok Sabha elections?

No, I will not run for office. Preneet Kaur (suspended Congress MP from Patiala) will contest from Patiala. My daughter Jai Inder Kaur will contest from my seat in the Assembly elections. (Amarinder is a former MP from Patiala-Urban). Preneet works hard. She was a four-time MP from Patiala. She has competed five times. Jaya (Jai Inder) is also a hard worker. She is the president of the Mahila wing of the BJP and has worked in all districts. It’s time for the younger generation to come forward. I'm here for the party. I'll help the party. I have been active in politics for 57 years. It is now time to pass the baton to the younger generations.

Have you discussed the BJP-SAD alliance with the Prime Minister?

I am very much in favor of the BJP’s alliance with Akalis. There should be progress. We should fight together in the Lok Sabha elections to forcefully counter our adversaries.




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