Chandigarh: Former cabinet minister in Punjab, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the farm laws as Amarinder Singh prepares to launch his political party, The Indian Express (TIE) reported.
Sodhi requested the PM to re-initiate talks and withdraw the bill so that the protesting farmers could return to their homes before the onset of harsh winter. As the festival season is approaching, it is only fair that the farmers celebrate with their families instead of on roads, he said.
Sodhi, the closest aide to the former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, makes the request while Amarinder's wife and Patiala MP, Preneet Kaur, is reportedly about to quit Congress and join Amarinder's new party. Amarinder is reportedly inviting many to join his party, and it is expected that those who fear being ignored by Congress in the distribution of tickets might join him. TIE reports that Amaridner might launch his party on Wednesday.
In a statement, Sodhi said that farmer's protest has gone past over a year, while they are still united and determined to have their voices heard. But many lost lives, fighting for their rights. He said that it is very unfortunate that protesting farmers continue living in extreme conditions such as lack of proper sanitation, drinking water etc. Despite their conditions, they keep their fight on only shows their resolve not to settle until the laws are repealed.
Sodhi said that farmers should be able to celebrate Diwali with their families and the coming year with fulfilment and prosperity. If the union government waives the debts of small and marginal farmers, it would be a welcome gesture on the part of PM Modi's government, he said. He further requested that the farmers who sacrificed their lives during these protests be extended with the financial assistance of 50 Lakh, and free education for their surviving children. All the cases and FIRs charged against the farmers should be withdrawn with immediate effect to avoid further mental, financial and physical harassment to their families.
Sodhi said that he was confident that farmers would welcome if the farm laws were repealed, would thank the Modi government with open hearts and without malice. If the laws are withdrawn, it will not reflect the union governments weakness, argued by certain sections, but its large heart and magnanimity, he said.
Sodhi told TIE that he made the request because everybody appeared to be indulged in a blame game rather than looking into farmers' issues. He added that farmers had been facing exile for a year now, and they needed to return home.