From E-way Blockage Plan to Ignoring Virus, Farmer Crowd Fails to Dwindle Despite High Punjab Caseload

·2-min read

Amid concerns of rising coronavirus cases in Punjab and centre categorising it as ‘area of concern’, there is no let up in farmer gatherings across the state. Apart from the small gatherings, there have been massive mobilisation events sans Covid guidelines held by farmers’ union as a run up to the proposed Saturday’s Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) expressway blockage programme.

Punjab is staring at a huge crisis arising out of the Covid spike with the state registering over 3,000 daily caseload. It ranks sixth in the country as far as active cases are concerned and reported 59 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Importantly, chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh had directed ban on political rallies till April 30 but the administration has failed to implement stringent rules for the farmers’ events. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan has recently flagged farmer gatherings in the state as one of the main reasons for the rise in numbers.

Farmers have been gathering in thousands in the Delhi and Haryana borders and are motivating other farmers to join the movement. In a shocking statement senior farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni went on to claim that Covid was a ‘fake narrative’ created by the Union government. “There is no corona. It’s an attempt by Modi government to put curbs on farmers agitation,” he told media persons in Amritsar on Thursday. The farmer unions have been holding at least a dozen events not just in Punjab, but adjoining Haryana as well in which social distancing norms are ignored completely. When Chaduni was asked about the violations, he shot back at reporters: “Are political parties calling off their rallies?”

It is not only a reason for concern in Punjab but Haryana health minister Anil Vij too has raised concern about the growing numbers of farmers gathering. Vij said that the build up of large number of farmers on Delhi borders was his major concern in the state’s efforts to fight rising cases of Covid-19.

He said he would soon write to the Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar requesting him for early resumption of talks with them. He said negotiations could resolve all issues, howsoever difficult they might seem.

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