Moga/Raikot, Oct 4 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Sunday that he would not back out of the fight against the new agriculture laws till they were amended to give a written constitutional guarantee on the minimum support price.
Singh said his government would take whatever steps needed against the 'anti-farmer' laws and also expose the Shiromani Akali Dal's 'double standards' over the issue.
Led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, the party is holding tractor rallies from October 4-6 across the state in protest against the three contentious legislations that were passed by Parliament the last month and got presidential assent.
'Till they amend these laws and incorporate the MSP and continuation of the FCI (Food Corporation of India) under it, their (Centre's) verbal assurances cannot be trusted,' Singh said while addressing a public gathering at Badhni Kalan in Moga district.
Terming it 'black laws', Singh lashed out at the Akali Dal for 'selling off' the interests of the farmers as part of the Union government, as he accused Harsimrat Kaur Badal being party to the decision as a cabinet minister.
He warned the farmers that the Centre might pay the MSP for a couple of crops, but eventually would scrap the system completely.
Attempts are being made to 'stifle the collective voice' of the farmers who had come together in this fight to protect their livelihood and future, the chief minister said.
'The farmers of Punjab have been responsible for giving India food security and feeding the nation for six decades, and their interests have to be protected at all costs,' he added.
Addressing another public rally at Jattpura in Ludhiana district at the culmination of the first day of Gandhi's 'Kheti Bachao Yatra', Singh underscored that the Congress was with the farmers in every step of the battle against the farm laws that was being fought across the country.
Taking on the Akalis over their 'treachery' with Punjab, Singh said the people of the state would take care of these 'traitors', but the real fight was with the BJP-led central government that out to 'destroy' the farmers with their 'draconian' farm laws.
'We will handle the Akalis here, but I urge Rahul to fight the central government and to scrap the new laws by becoming the prime minister,' he said, hailing Gandhi for standing with Punjab's farmers in these 'tough' times.
The Modi government 'does not know' what agriculture is, and they want to 'break' the centuries-old relations between 'arhtiyas' (commission agents) and the farmers for the benefit of their 'capitalist friends', according to the chief minister.
Taking a dig at SAD president Sukhbir Badal's claim of 'sacrificing' for the farmers by quitting the National Democratic Alliance, Singh said the Akalis 'don't know what sacrifice is'.
'They (SAD) did what they did only for political survival when faced with the farmers' angst and resentment,' he said.
At the rally, a 'Kisan Mazdoor Ekta Flag' was released by Gandhi, Amarinder and other leaders.
Later, the Congress leaders took off on a tractor rally via Lopon (Moga) and Chakar, Lekha, Manoke (in Jagraon), culminating in Jattpura in Raikot area.
At Jattpura, Gandhi and Singh were handed over resolutions passed against the laws by panchayats of all Raikot constituencies.
Earlier, travelling on tractors through Chakkar, Lakha and Manoke, Gandhi and Singh met the farmers and assured them of the full support of the Congress to their fight.
In Lopon village, Gandhi was presented a 'siropa' (robe of honour) by 'Sant Darbar Sampradaya Lopon'.
In Manuke, he walked around interacting with maize cultivating farmers Bhupinder Singh Pappu and Ranjit Singh, who gifted corn to him as a token of the farmers' gratitude. PTI CHS VSD HMB