Had asked police to give me intelligence updates on farmers' protest: Amarinder

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Chandigarh, Jan 8 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday said he had “naturally asked” police to give him regular intelligence updates related to the farmers’ protest in the national capital.

He said this while rejecting the Opposition claim that he deputed police officers to “negotiate” with farmers protesting against the Centre’s farm laws at Delhi’s borders.

Dubbing the accusations as “completely baseless and malicious”, the CM in a statement said there was no question of deputing police officers to negotiate with farmers.

The CM said he had made it categorically clear that the ball was in the Centre's court, with the Punjab government having no role to play in the negotiations.

With farmer protests going on in his state since long before the agitation started at the Delhi border, he had “naturally asked” police officers to give him regular intelligence reports and updates on the situation not just from the national capital but also across Punjab, said Amarinder Singh.

He trashed the “twisted and senseless” interpretation being given to the presence of a few Punjab Police personnel at the farmers' protest site.

It is the job of the state police to keep tabs on the evolving situation and it is his job as both chief minister and home minister to remain updated about all developments, he added.

“Anyone who believes that a couple of police officers can negotiate with farmers or persuade the kisan leaders to accept the Centre's suggestions on amendments to the farm laws is really naive,” the CM said.

The Aam Aadmi Party while citing some media reports on Thursday had alleged that the CM had assigned two Punjab IPS officers at the Singhu border to engage with the farmer leaders to persuade them to accept the Centre's offer.

The CM said both SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, as well as their party colleagues, were resorting to “lies and deceit in their desperation to cover up their own failures” in the entire crisis triggered by the farm laws.

Pointing to Sukhbir's claim that the resolutions passed in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha against the three farm bills had not been sent to the governor, he said the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president had clearly lost it.

“Or perhaps he is suffering from serious amnesia since his party colleagues, including his own brother-in-law Bikram Majithia, had accompanied me to the governor's house for submitting the resolution and the three state amendment Bills,” said the chief minister, advising Badal to seek medical help. PTI CHS VSD ASH RDK RDK RDK