‘STATEMENT ON EXTENDED PERIOD FOR PUTTING FARM LAWS ON HOLD MISCHIEVOUSLY TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT’, SAYS CAPT AMARINDER

SAYS IT WAS NOT HIS PERSONAL SUGGESTION BUT IN CONTEXT OF INPUTS FROM FARMER LEADERS

REJECTING NITI AAYOG VC’S CLAIM TO THE CONTRARY, CITES HIS SPEECH HIGHLIGHTING FARM LAWS ISSUE

Chandigarh, February 21:Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday rejected as `misinterpretation’ the media statement quoting him on extension of the proposed suspension of the Farm Laws, saying it was mischievously taken out of context to give the wrong impression on his stance.

The message sought to be communicated from his interview was totally incorrect, as was evident from the rest of his statement on the issue, said the Chief Minister, allaying the apprehensions of some Kisan leaders that he was trying to interfere in their agitation.

Even as he categorically ruled out any interference, or even direct mediation unless sought by both sides, Captain Amarinder said he had categorically stated in the said interview that “From what I understand is that some of the farmers are agreeable to the laws being put on hold for 18 months but may go up to 24 months.” He was also on record as stating in the same interview that an extended period for putting the laws on hold continued to be in active discussions (between the government and Kisan Unions), he added.

The Chief Minister said his statement was clearly in reference to the feedback/inputs received on the issue from certain Farmer Unions, which was taken out of context and presented as his personal suggestion for a compromise. Instead of being put in the context of his full statement, this particular point (on 24 months’ suspension of the Farm Laws) was played up as a separate communication, he said, terming it as factually incorrect.

While he maintained that an early resolution was critical to the safety of Punjab, which had witnessed a surge in smuggling of weapons into the state from across the border in the past 5-6 months, the Chief Minister asserted that he, and his government, continues to stand with the farmers on the issue. He pointed out that even in his speech submitted to Niti Aayog for circulation at Saturday’s meeting had categorically underscored the need for “urgent resolution” of the current agitation “to the satisfaction of the protesting farmers by addressing all their grievances.”

It is the farmers who have to decide what is in their interest and to what extent they are willing to compromise, if at all, on their demand for repeal of the Farm Laws, said the Chief Minister. He reiterated his stand that the Central Government should not stand on prestige on the issue and should be willing to revoke the legislations to find an effective, long-term solution to the problem.

Captain Amarinder expressed surprise at Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar’s claim that no one spoke about the farm laws in the sixth governing council meeting held yesterday. Though he could not personally attend the virtual conference owing to ill-health, his speech, which was submitted to the Niti Aayog on Thursday, had clearly highlighted the issue.

Not only had he reiterated his government’s stand that Agriculture is a State subject and law-making on it should be left to the States in the true spirit of “cooperative federalism”, he had further underscored, in black and white, the need to resolve the farmers’ issues on urgent basis, Captain Amarinder noted, categorically and unequivocally rejecting the claim of the Niti Aayog VC as false and baseless.

The Chief Minister asserted that his, and his government’s, stand on the Farm Laws had been consistent all through, at every forum, and the state amendment Bills, passed in the Vidhan Sabha, were an endorsement of the same. It was unfortunate that the Governor was sitting over these Bills instead of forwarding them to the President for assent, he said.

==============================

INDIA IS A MULTI-LINGUAL BOUQUET; THOSE WHO TALK OF ONE LANGUAGE ONE NATION ARE ANTI NATIONALS: CHANNI

• Punjab Cultural Affairs Minister Channi announces Rs. 2 Crore budget provision for Punjab Kala Parishad

• 'International Mother Language Day' celebrated at Punjab Kala Bhawan

Chandigarh, February 21:India is a beautiful bouquet of multiple languages and cultures in the different regions and those who are propagating the concept of one language one Nation are Anti Nationals. The Punjab Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Mr. Charanjit Singh Channi said this today at a function organised by the Punjab Kala Parishad on the occasion of 'International Mother Language Day'.

The Cultural Affairs Minister further said that some people are trying to pull flowers out of this bouquet which will create a threat to the existence of many minorities. He also said that unity in diversity is the real strength of our nation and strongly advocated that people should not be divided in the name of language, religion or caste.

Mr. Channi also pointed out that to promote our mother tongue Punjabi, it must be made compulsory in the state till 10th standard in all private schools also. "Apart from this, the working of Courts should be done in Punjabi language", said the minister adding the Punjab Government under the leadership of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is actively working in this direction so that even the common people could easily read and understand all the cases and judgments in the Punjabi.

The Minister further said that the Punjab Government is untiringly working to provide professional, technical and vocational education in Punjabi language. He also divulged that the Department of Technical Education has taken a lead in this by translating the syllabus books in Punjabi for the reference of students.

Mr. Channi announced that this year Rs. 2 crore budget provision would be made for the Punjab Kala Parishad. He also announced to celebrate ‘Punjab Cultural Day’ annually the date for which would be finalized soon.

On the occasion, the Chairman Punjab Kala Parishad and prominent Punjabi Poet Padma Shri Dr. Surjit Patar said that as per the message, teachings and sacrifice of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, we should respect all languages and cultures. He further said that we should feel proud in conversing in our mother tongue Punjabi and called upon especially the private schools to stop creating the inferiority complex among the Punjabi speaking children.

The occasion saw Dr. Rajinder Pal Singh Brar, Dr. Karamjit Singh VC Punjab State Jagat Guru Nanak Dev Open University and Dr. Jalor Singh Khiva speaking on the importance of rich heritage and cultural aspects of mother tongue Punjabi.

Prominent Punjabi promoters Gurmukh Singh Lalli who has created a library of 120 year old Punjabi songs and Karamjit Singh Gathwala who is running a Punjabi Kavita website having collection of poems and writings of more than 700 Punjabi poets and writers, were honoured on the occasion. Apart from this, some books on the promotion of Punjabi language were also released.

Upcoming singers presented beautiful traditional Punjabi Folk and Suffi songs.The Minister also announced a cash reward for the Punjabis honoured song performers and the authors whose books were released.

Eminent Punjabi writer Ninder Ghugianvi welcomed the guest and Dr. Nirmal Jaura Director Youth Welfare Panjab University presented vote of thanks.