The gloves came off today in the continuing sparring between the Chief Ministers of Delhi and Punjab as the farmers’ protest snowballed at the doors of the national capital. As Arvind Kejriwal hit out at his Punjab counterpart with a “low-level politics” jibe, Amarinder Singh called him a “sneaky little fellow” and accused him of “double standards”.
Mr Kejriwal had taken on Mr Singh, saying he has joined hands with the BJP and is upset that the Aam Aadmi Party government has not converted the nine stadiums in the city to open jails. AAP’s Punjab unit had earlier said that the Punjab Chief Minister is being controlled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is already upset over the issue.
“The Punjab Chief Minister has made allegations against me that I have passed the black laws in Delhi. How can he do such a low-level politics in this fragile situation? It’s not up to state governments to implement it. Had it been so, why would farmers of the country hold talks with Centre,” Mr Kejriwal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
“The reason behind Captain Sahab’s allegation is that we did not allow the nine stadiums in Delhi to be converted into jails,” he said. The Centre had plans to put farmers in these stadiums, he said. “They are upset with me as I didn’t give permission for making them jails,” added the Chief Minister, whose party is part of the opposition in Punjab.
The “Captain” as Mr Singh — a former officer of the Indian army is known among his supporters — is known among supporters, fought back fiercely.
Instead of meekly notifying the central laws, Mr Kejriwal could have tried to make some effort to counter them and protect the rights of the farmers, said Mr Singh. It was evident that “this sneaky little fellow, whose double standards have been exposed time and again, is now completely cornered on the issue,” he added.
Accusing the AAP chief of shedding “crocodile tears”, he said it is evident that Mr Kejriwal is only playing to the sentiments of the farmers as his party has completely lost the political narrative in Punjab.
The Congress and AAP have been trading barbs after media reports that the Delhi government has notified the farm laws passed by the Centre in the assembly. Many later called it fake news.
Mr Singh had been harsh in his criticism.
“Do they have no shame? They failed to pass any amendment in the Delhi Assembly to negate the central laws, as was done in Punjab. And now they have officially notified the agricultural legislations. The party’s true intent and affiliation has been exposed,” the Punjab Chief Minister said.
Mr Kejriwal, who while closing Delhi to protesters citing Covid, has backed the farmers’ cause.
Last week, he turned down the Delhi Police proposal to turn the city’s stadiums into open jails and declared the protesting farmers who managed to cross the barricades at the borders, were guests of the city.