SULTANPUR LODHI: Terming the farmers’ fight against the Farm Laws as just, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday asked the Centre why it was being adamant on the issue and not listening to the farmers.
“It is the job of the Government to listen to its people. If farmers are joining the agitation from so many states, then they must be really upset,” said the Chief Minister while interacting informally with the media during his visit to these historic towns. He asserted his government’s commitment to stand firmly with the farmers in their fight against the black laws.
On the Prime Minister’s adamant stand that the new laws were beneficial to the farmers, the Chief Minister said Narendra Modi had been maintaining this line since the beginning, which was the reason why Punjab came out with its own Bills. He questioned the Governor’s decision to sit on those Bills instead of forwarding them to the President, which he is required to do, and pointed out that the Governor had done this even last year on the Bill related to the CM’s advisors.
Pointing out that the MSP and arhtiya system was the backbone of Punjab’s successful agricultural model, with the farmers and arhtiyas sharing a very close bond, the Chief Minister questioned the need to change the established system. “Will the corporates who would take the place of the arhtiyas ever care to help farmers in times of crisis?” he asked.
Captain Amarinder observed that Guru Sahib had attached great significance to the small farmers, who constitute the bulk of Punjab’s farming community, with 75 percent of them holding less than 5 acres of land. “It is these very farmers who would be ruined by the black agricultural laws enacted by the Union Government,” he said, adding that it was against these legislations that the farmers were currently protesting at Delhi borders and braving the harsh winter cold, the Covid threat and the brutality of the Haryana police.
On the Kartarpur Corridor, the Chief Minister said it was time for the Centre to open it, since even Pakistan had done so. “I don’t know why the central government is not opening it,” he added.
Citing the emerging challenges of internal and external aggression, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh underlined the need for unity to counter the forces trying to divide the nation on communal lines. He pointed out out that Punjabi soldiers like Gurtej Singh had made the supreme sacrifice and killed 12 Chinese soldiers in the recent clashes at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Only a united India could fight the enemy, he added. The great Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji had promoted the ideology of oneness of all humans, rising above petty caste and religious considerations, he pointed out, underscoring the relevance of this message in the current times.
The Chief Minister was visiting the two towns to mark the culmination of 550th birth anniversary celebrations and the 551st Prakash Parv of the 1st Sikh Guru. Greeting the Sangat across the globe, the Chief Minister stressed that the centuries-old teachings of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji were still relevant in contemporary times, and continue to inspire people with his philosophy of love, peace, compassionate and humanity. He said that Sikhs had been living in every nook and corner of the world, thus disseminating the ideology and message of ‘Sarbat Da Bhala’ as envisioned by the Guru Ji.
Captain Amarinder said the pace of the ongoing development projects at Sultanpur Lodhi and Dera Baba Nanak would be accelerated, in addition to the launch of new projects to develop these places as planned townships. He also asked MLA Navtej Singh Cheema to submit a proposal regarding new development projects, if needed, in the region.
Sultanpur Lodhi MLA Navtej Singh Cheema expressed gratitude to Punjab Government led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for celebrating 550th Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji on such a large scale. The MLA urged Captain Amarinder Singh to grant funds for strengthening of basic amenities and infrastructure development in colonies located adjoining the Rail Coach factory, where more than 25,000 people were residing.
Describing Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s life and teachings a lighting tower for all, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Sunil Jakhar said that we should emulate the teachings of Guru Ji in the true spirit for a prosperous and healthy society.
Head of Namdhari Sect Satguru Uday Singh said that Punjabis had always been at forefront for the welfare of all sections of the society, which they had proven even during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis by extending all possible help to the needy besides continuing the langar to feed the hapless people. He also appreciated the efforts of the State Government to help out people facing hardships, especially the migrant labour, besides ensuring requisite services including health and transportation.
Earlier, the Chief Minister paid obeisance at Gurdwara Sri Ber Sahib in Sultanpur Lodhi, where SGPC Members Jathedar Sarwan Singh Kular and Bibi Gurpreet Kaur Ruhi presented the Siropa (a robe of honour) to the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister also honoured Head Budha Dal Baba Balbir Singh, Sant Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, Former Jathedar Takht Patna Sahib Giani Iqbal Singh and other religious personalities. Patiala Member Parliament Preneet Kaur, Khadoor Sahib MP Jasbir Singh Gill, Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, MLAs Rana Gurjit Singh, Navtej Singh Cheema and Sukhpal Singh Bhullar were also present along with the Captain Amarinder Singh at Gurdwara Sri Ber Sahib.
On this occasion, the Chief Minister also honoured Head Budha Dal Baba Balbir Singh, Sant Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, Former Jathedar Takht Patna Sahib Giani Iqbal Singh and other religious personalities.
Prominent amongst others present on the occasion were former President PPCC HS Hanspal, MLAs Harminder Singh Gill, Hardev Singh Laddi Sherowalia, Sukhpal Singh Bhullar, Sukhwinder Singh Danny, BS Dhaliwal, former Cabinet Minister Joginder Singh Mann besides Divisional Commissioner Raj Kamal Chaudhary, Director Social Security Vipul Ujwal, Deputy Commissioner Kapurthala Deepti Uppal, SSP Kanwardeep Kaur and SSP hoshiarpur Navjot Singh Mahal.
Later, at Dera Baba Nanak, the Chief Minister, along with PPCC President Sunil Jakhar, MP Preneet Kaur, Cabinet Ministers Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Aruna Chaudhary, paid obeisance at Gurudwara Sri Darbar Sahib in Dera Baba Nanak on the occasion of 551st Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The Chief Minister presented Rumala Sahib and Chaur Sahib and offered ‘Deg’.
The Chief Minister was honoured with Siropa by Manager Sri Darbar Sahib Dera Baba Nanak Harvinder Singh, SGPC Executive Committee Member Amrik Singh Shahpur and SGPC Member Joginder Kaur.
Cabinet Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said that Guru Nanak Dev Ji gave primary importance to farming and himself took it up, so this sector has religious connection with the people of Punjab. Crediting the Chief Minister for the opening of Sri Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, the Minister further pointed out that this Corridor would be a symbol of peace and oneness of mankind. The Chief Minister protected Punjab’s river waters and has now again risen to the occasion by fighting the Centre’s draconian farm laws, he said.
The Chief Minister also released a book titled ‘Suhave Thaan Sri Guru Nanak Dev Jo’s blessed trail’ detailing the projects in the ‘Charan Chho’ villages and towns. On the occasion, a message by the Pope from Vatican City was also read out by father Joseph Matthews from the Catholic Christian, Dhariwal.
The occasion saw Ardas being offered by Gyani Kulwinder Singh and Shabad Kirtan served by Ex Hazuri Ragi Sri Darbar Sahib Amritsar Bhai Jaswant Singh.
MP Preneet Kaur, Cabinet Minister Aruna Chaudhary, Sunder Sham Arora, Sadhu Singh Dharmsot, MLAs Fatehjung Singh Bajwa, Barindermit Singh Pahra, Santokh Singh Bhalipur, Balwinder Singh Laddi, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Darshan Singh Brar, Amrik Singh Dhillon Kulbir Singh Zira, Indu Bala, Joginder Pal, Tarsem Singh DC and Devinder Singh Gubaya and Ex Minister Master Mohan Lal were also present.
The Chief Minister honoured Spiritual leaders of Sant Samaj, Ahmadia Jamat Head Tanveer Khadim at the historic event.