CHANDIGARH: Citing an RTI reply indicating that the report of the chief ministers' high-powered panel on agriculture reforms was not presented before the NITI Aayog, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on Wednesday accused the SAD and AAP of spreading "lies" against his government.
According to a government statement, media reports citing a reply to a Right to Information (RTI) query suggest that the farm ordinances were promulgated and introduced in Parliament in June last year without the report of the chief ministers' committee being ever appraised by the governing council of NITI Aayog.
This is in stark contrast to claims of the central government, in which both the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (SAD) had been "shamelessly parroting" in an apparent bid to promote the Bharatiya Janata Party's "anti-farmer" agenda, alleged the CM.
The statement read Union Minister of State for Food Danve Raosaheb Dadarao had claimed before the Lok Sabha that the high-powered committee had approved the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, which Amarinder had categorically rejected and which has now been proved wrong by the RTI reply.
Far from basing the farm laws on the discussions and decisions of the committee, the fact is that the committee report had not even been placed till now before the governing council of the NITI Aayog, Amarinder claimed.
Once the report is made public, everyone will now know who said what in the committee meetings, where Punjab was not even a part in the first one, while the second discussed some financial issues with Manpreet Badal in attendance and the third only participated by the secretary-level officials, he added.
The chief minister slammed the Punjab opposition parties over their "campaign of lies, deception, and misinformation" to promote their collective agenda of "instigating" people against the Congress-led government in the state.
"Their bundle of lies have been completely exposed by the RTI response," he said.
Amarinder also slammed former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal for alleging that the Punjab CM had consented to the farm laws as part of the committee.