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Won't pick up Khattar's call till he apologises to farmers: Amarinder Singh


New Delhi, Nov 28: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday attacked Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for the crackdown on farmers protesting the centre's new agricultural laws, saying that he will not even answer the latter's phone calls now because of the way he has acted.

Amarinder Singh

"Khattar is lying that he tried calling me earlier & I did not respond. But now, after what he has done to my farmers, I'll not speak to him even if he calls me 10 times," said the Punjab chief minister.

Earlier, Khattar had claimed that despite wanting to talk to Singh over the issue, he did not respond even when telephone calls to his office were made for three days.

Claiming a "conspiracy", Khattar told reporters in Gurgaon that officials in the Punjab Chief Minister''s Office are "giving directions" to the protesting farmers from Punjab.

The stir has been build up by farmers from Punjab and some political parties and organisations are "sponsoring" it, he said.

Khattar claimed that Haryana farmers have not participated in the stir. "For this, I want to thank Haryana farmers," he said.

"I also appreciate the Haryana Police that for past 2-3 days since this issue (Delhi Chalo march) started, they exercised restraint and did not use any force," he said.

The CM alleged that some people are grinding their own political axe, which needs to be condemned.

When asked if he tried to speak to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh before the farmers'' march, Khattar said, "My office told me that they tried to contact him over telephone on six to seven occasions and every time his staff used to say we will soon get back and then they used to give the plea that the CM was busy in a meeting and so on."

"But it was a very strange situation that the chief minister of a state wants to talk to his counterpart of other state but is unable to get through after so many attempts. For six years, I have been a CM. Never before such a thing has happened. We even talk to opposition leaders.

Earlier too, I have been having telephone conversations with the Punjab CM and even when he was busy, he used to call back after 30 or 60 minutes. This time for three days attempts to reach him were made, but he didn''t respond," alleged Khattar.

Alleging a conspiracy, he said "card holders" (officials) in the Punjab CM's office have been directing protesters.

Replying to a question, Khattar asserted that farmers should talk to the Centre.

"There is no purpose of bringing large gatherings to Delhi. We appealed to Punjab farmers that their representatives could come and talk. Farmers must talk to the Centre, that is the only way forward," he said.

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