Centre angry with me for not permitting stadiums to be used as jails: Kejriwal

Last week, the AAP government had denied permission to the Delhi Police to convert the city's stadiums into temporary jails.

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday claimed that the BJP-ruled Centre was angry with him for not permitting stadiums to be used as temporary jails for farmers protesting against newly enacted farm laws.

In a press briefing, Kejriwal also hit out at Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh saying that he was speaking “BJP’s language” by accusing him of “passing” three farm laws in Delhi.

Captain Sahab you are leveling allegations against me and speaking BJP’s language. Is it the pressure of ED cases on your family members and the notices being sent?” Kejriwal asked.

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Last week, the AAP government had denied permission to the Delhi Police to convert the city’s stadiums into temporary jails.

“The Centre had the plan of putting the farmers into jails as soon as they reached Delhi, but we refused to convert the nine stadiums into jails. The Centre is very upset with me for this,” he claimed.

The three farm laws were implemented across the country with the signature of the president and no state can stop them, he said.

“If the implementation of the laws depended on the states, why would the farmers from across the nation reach Delhi to talk to the Centre and put their demands forward? They would have put their demands in front of their chief ministers”

he said.

Kejriwal appealed to the Centre to immediately fulfil all the demands of the farmers and bring in minimum support price for their crops, under legal framework.

The Delhi government has notified the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020, one of three farm laws of the Centre.

“The Punjab CM accused me of passing the three black laws. How can he do such lowly politics at such a crucial time,” Kejriwal said.

He said the Punjab chief minister had many chances to stop the farm bills but he did not do so.

“Captain sahab had many chances to stop the farm bills. Why did he not act against these bills being a member of the central government’s committee formulating and deliberating on these bills?” Kejriwal asked.

“Is this Captain sahab’s friendship with the BJP or is he under pressure, because of which he is making false allegations against me?” he asked.

His remarks come after Singh on Tuesday lashed out at the Kejriwal government for issuing a notification to implement the farm laws in Delhi, saying the party did it in the “midst of a crisis” while “pretending” to stand with the farmers.

While the AAP was claiming to support the agitating farmers, the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi “brazenly” executed the “black laws” through a gazette notification on November 23, the Punjab chief minister had said in a statement.

Kejriwal claimed that he was under a lot of pressure to convert the stadiums into temporary jails and received phone calls from many people, but resisted it and listened to his conscience.

“I want to ask Captain sahab, are you under the pressure of these very same people because of which you are making these false allegations against me, abusing me. I know that the reason may be your family is charged with cases and receiving notices from the ED,” he added.

The Delhi chief minister expressed anguish over protesting farmers being called “terrorists and anti-national” by some people.

“I cannot imagine what the soldiers on the border must be going through, whose parents are being called terrorists. We all have to decide – whether we are with the farmers, or whether we are with the people who are calling these farmers terrorists,” he said.

Kejriwal, who is the national convener of AAP, urged his party volunteers to not indulge in politics and serve the farmers.

“Be a sevadaar, we do not have to politicise this struggle,” he said.

The Delhi chief minister said the whole country is witnessing the plight of farmers and how they are sleeping on roads in such cold weather during the protest.

“No patriot can sleep peacefully after witnessing all this. This is not only farmers’ fight, this is everyone’s fight. The two meals that we eat in a day, are the result of our farmers’ hard work in the fields. We all have to support our farmers in this fight,” he added.

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