Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday termed the protests by state farmers as “unwarranted and undesirable” but said that he is ready for talks. Mann asked the farmer unions to stop sloganeering and join hands with the state government to stop Punjab’s depleting water table.
“I am ready to meet them (farmers), but ‘Murdabad’ (sloganeering) is not the way… I myself am a farmer’s son… When I am saying basmati and moong dal will be on MSP…At least put in efforts… Not everything can be ‘Murdabad’,” said Mann on Tuesday.
Punjab farmers sat on a protest near the Chandigarh-Mohali border on Tuesday after being stopped from heading to the state capital to press the government for a bonus on wheat crop and allow paddy sowing from June 10. The government has asked farmers not to go for paddy transplantation till June 18.
Mann said his doors are open for the farmers to hold talks but “hollow slogans” cannot break his resolve to check further depletion of the water table. He also said that he is a farmer’s son and is well aware of the issues afflicting crop growers.
”I am the son of a farmer. I know how it can happen. What is the difference between June 18 and 10,” he asked.
The CM asked farmers to support him for a year and said if the farmers suffer any loss during this period, then the state government will fully compensate them. “Kindly support me for one year at least. If you suffer losses, I will compensate all your losses,” he asserted.
He asked the agitating farmers to tell whether he was wrong because he is thinking about saving water and checking environmental pollution in the state. “I want to ask respectable organisations that tell me what wrong I am doing for the earth,” he said.
Mann had backed the year-long farmers’ protest against the Centre’s now-repealed farm laws and had even demanded compensation for the farmers who reportedly died during the agitation at Delhi borders. He had also demanded withdrawal of cases against the farmers who participated in the protests.