Hary minister Vij slams opposition; says they are not well-wishers of farmers

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Chandigarh, May 24 (PTI) Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij on Monday slammed the opposition parties, saying they are “not well-wishers of protesting farmers” and that had they been so they would have urged the protesters to take COVID-19 vaccines and tests.

His response came after 12 major opposition parties, including the Congress, Trinamool Congress, Left parties, SP, NCP and DMK on Sunday extended their support to a countrywide protest call given by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha on May 26, marking six months of the farmers protest against the Centre's farm laws.

“I want to ask these 12 opposition parties did they even once ask the farmers to get vaccinated or undergo Covid tests?” Vij told reporters in Ambala.

He alleged that these parties were not true well-wishers of the farmers.

“Had they (parties) been the farmers’ well-wishers, they would have definitely told them to go for vaccination. But they are not the well-wishers of farmers, they are dangerous for the protesters,” the minister said.

Farmers from various parts of the country are protesting at Delhi borders against the three farm laws brought by the Centre, alleging that the legislations will hamper farming.

Vij had also recently lamented the farmer leaders' alleged refusal to ask the protesting peasants to take the COVID-19 tests.

Commenting on extension of lockdown in the state till May 31, he said while some relaxations relating to opening of shops had been made, more curbs cannot be lifted as COVID-19 positivity rate was still close to 9 per cent.

Notably, shops other than standalone ones are allowed to open from 7 am to 12 pm in two groups--odd and even shops--with odd numbers on odd dates and shops with even number on even dates.

Standalone shops are allowed to open during the day when the night curfew is not in operation.

“COVID-19 positivity rate is close to 9 per cent in the state. More relaxations cannot be made till the time the rate does not fall below 5 per cent. The five-hour relaxation on opening of shops was given considering the demand from their owners.

“Otherwise, if you see there is complete lockdown in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. So, steps by the Haryana government on giving relaxations are taken after considering various factors,” Vij added.