Amarinder meets Shah; appeals to Centre, farmers to resolve impasse soon
New Delhi, Dec 3: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday made an appeal to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the protesting farmers to find an early resolution to the impasse over the new farm laws, saying the agitation was affecting Punjab's economy and the nation's security.
Singh, after meeting Shah at the latter's residence here, said he reiterated Punjab's position and urged the Centre to rethink its stand on the new agriculture-related legislations and address the farmers' concerns.
A common ground must be found soon and the two sides should not take rigid positions on the matter as the problem needs to be solved quickly, the Chief Minister told reporters after the meeting.
"I came to meet the Home Minister to reiterate our position and to make a request to him and the farmers to resolve this soon because this (agitation) affects the economy of my Punjab as well as the security of the nation," he said.
Asked if he was trying to mediate between the agitating farmers and the central government, Singh said a discussion was going on between the two sides.
"It is for them to resolve... we have reiterated Punjab's position. I and my government only want early resolution to the issue in the interest of both Punjab and the country," the Congress leader said after the meeting with Shah. Singh said he was not involved in mediation in any way in the deadlock between the Centre and the farmers.
"Today I met Union Home Minister Amit Shah Ji and reiterated the need to protect MSP and continue with the APMC based mandi system. Requested him to listen to the farmers with an open mind and quickly resolve the standoff," Singh tweeted. A solution has to be found at the earliest, he said, adding that he had visited the Union Home Minister to reiterate Punjab's stand on the issue, as well as the need to secure the future of the farming community and agriculture.
The meeting was held simultaneously with the interaction between the agitating farmer leaders and the government at Vigyan Bhawan here, sources said.
According to sources, the meeting between the two political leaders which was slated in the morning was delayed by over two hours and started around noon. The Punjab chief minister and his Congress party have been supporting the farmers' stir and the state Assembly had also passed a set of bills aimed at negating the Centre's farm legislation.
Singh had earlier said he and his government were willing to mediate in the talks between the Centre and the farmers in the collective interest of all.
The protesting farmers, a large number of whom are from Punjab, have been holding sit-ins on the borders of the national capital. They are demanding that the government withdraw the three new farm laws if it wants them to end their stir.