Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday hit out at the BJP’s state leadership over its “sordid attempts to lower the prestige” of the Governor’s office by pulling the constitutional authority into “unsavoury controversies” in states where it is in the Opposition in a bid to get rid of democratically elected governments there.
Reacting sharply to BJP state unit’s tweet accusing him of trying to make Punjab into another West Bengal, the Chief Minister said it was the “power-hungry BJP which had been trying to use the office of the Governor for its own vested interests”.
“It has been happening in West Bengal, it happened in Maharashtra, and now they are trying to do the same in Punjab,” said Amarinder Singh, slamming the BJP for its “shameless efforts to force its way into power in states where they are currently not ruling”.
“The BJP, which has been systemically trampling all democratic and constitutional institutions, has not spared even the office of Governor,” said the Chief Minister, adding that “these actions do not behove a party that is the custodian of these institutions as the ruling party at the Centre.”
Amarinder Singh quipped that the BJP, despite being a national party, seemed totally ignorant about the constitutional provisions, according to which the Governor was the titular head of the state but all administration authority vested with the Chief Minister.
“Don’t these BJP leaders know that the law and order responsibility of my state lies with me not only as Chief Minister but also as the Home Minister?” he asked, urging the BJP leaders of Punjab to first learn the ABCs of the Indian Constitution before “shooting their mouth on constitutional matters”.
Describing as shocking the BJP’s repeated attempts at politicisation of the farmers’ agitation, the Chief Minister said the party was “shamelessly exploiting the situation” and spreading lies for furthering its political interests”.
This, he said, was evident in their bid to project the farmers’ genuine anger as a law and order situation in Punjab.
Incidents of BJP leaders facing the wrath of farmers have been reported from the BJP-ruled Haryana, and even Uttar Pradesh, he pointed out, adding that by the same yardstick, those should also be construed as a case of collapse of law and order in those states.
“And if the incidents of farmers venting their anger at BJP leaders in Punjab are at the behest of the ruling Congress here, as they are alleging, then by the same logic, the ruling BJP in Haryana and UP is to blame for the trouble there,” he added.
The Chief Minister also hit out at the BJP over its threat of gherao of Punjab Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu’s house if FIR is not registered against him by the Punjab Police.
“This was not only ridiculous but another instance of the BJP playing to the gallery since the Delhi Police had already registered a case in a non-cognizable offence against Bittu,” he added.
It was sad that at a time when farmers were dying every day in the bitter winter cold while sitting in protest at Delhi borders for the past nearly 40 days, the BJP was busy indulging in cheap politics, said Amarinder Singh.
The BJP would gain more political mileage by responding to the woes of the farmers and heeding their voice instead of resorting to political theatrics and lies, he said, adding that it was high time the ruling party at the Centre stopped playing with the lives of the farmers and repealed the “black” farm laws.
“The entire nation can feel the pain of the farmers except the party which heads the country,” said Amarinder Singh, urging the BJP-led Central government to climb down from its “exalted ego and bring the farming crisis to an end before it gets completely out of hand and brings India to ruination”.