Don't turn people against you by blocking roads: Punjab CM tells protesting farmers

Don't turn people against you by blocking roads: Punjab CM tells protesting farmers

Chandigarh, Nov 22 (PTI) In a sharp attack against farmers resorting to squatting on roads in agitation, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Wednesday asked the farmer unions not to turn people against themselves by blocking roads.

Mann said if the farmers do not drop the practice of blocking roads every time their demands are not met, a day will come when people will stop sympathising with them.

'My request to the farmer unions is do not turn common people against you by blocking roads over every issue. For holding talks with the government, there is Punjab Bhawan in Chandigarh, the Secretariat, the office of the agriculture minister and my office and residence but not the roads.

'If this attitude continues, then the day is not far when you will not find people for 'dharnas'... understand the feelings of people,' Mann in a post on X in Punjabi said.

The CM's remarks came a day after farmers blocked a stretch of the national highway in Jalandhar.

Farmers under the banner of Samyukt Kisan Morcha blocked the Jalandhar-Phagwara section of the Jalandhar-New Delhi National Highway near Dhanowali village for an indefinite period on Tuesday.

Responding to Mann's remark, Samyukt Kisan Morcha leader Harinder Singh Lakhowal said farmers were not sitting on the roads out of habit and that their anguish was genuine.

Later in a statement too, Mann asked the farmers' unions to stop their 'undue harassment' of the common man with their blocking of roads in the state.

Mann said the unions with vested interests were obstructing routine lives.

'This callous and irresponsible attitude of the farmers Union towards society is unwarranted and undesirable,' he said.

Bharti Kisan Union (Lakhowal) general secretary Harinder Lakhowal told reporters, 'We give proper ultimatum for blocking roads. We had met the Agriculture minister twice, urging him to commence sugar mills (crushing of cane) and increase sugarcane rates but nothing was done.' 'We will come to your residence also,' said Lakhowal responding to Mann's offer to meet him at his house.

The farmers have announced a three-day protest to be held at the district headquarters starting November 26.

The ongoing protest in Jalandhar has affected the movement of vehicles on the highway leading to Jammu, Pathankot, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Nawanshahr, and Delhi.

With police diverting traffic towards alternative roads, the commuters had a harrowing time traversing the affected stretch in Punjab.

Farmers put up a tent in the middle of the road and spent the night on the highway demanding an increase in the assured prices of sugarcane from Rs 380 per quintal to Rs 450 per quintal.

They are also demanding the resumption of operations at mills for crushing of sugarcane. PTI CHS VSD VN VN

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated feed.

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