Attacking Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government regarding the ongoing deadlock with farmers over the three agriculture sector laws, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday said all the 'ministers' who 'defamed' the protesting farmers by calling them 'Khalistanis' and 'anti-national' must apologise to them publicly.
Speaking to media in Amritsar, Badal questioned why the Central government is showing 'tyranny' and not repealing the laws when the section of the society for whom the laws are made is not happy with them.
"Centre is trying to defame agitation by calling it that of Khalistanis and political parties. It is unfortunate that if one disagrees with them they call them anti-nationals. Ministers giving such statements must apologise publicly. We condemn Centre's attitude and such statements," said the SAD chief.
"It is unfortunate that Centre is trying to stifle the voices of the farmers, instead of listening to them. Farmers don't want the farm laws. Why is Centre showing tyranny when the section of the society, for whom laws have been formed, doesn't want it? I request the Prime Minister to listen to farmers," he added.
Badal said the farmers are not happy spending their nights in the streets in this fierce cold but are helpless, and added "it has been the policy of the central government that anyone who raises voice against them is defamed by being called anti-national."
The farmers' agitation on the borders of Delhi, against the three farm laws passed by the Central government in the last monsoon session of Parliament, entered the 17th day today, with the farmers' unions now threatening to block railway tracks.
According to their earlier plan of blocking the Delhi-Jaipur, Delhi-Agra highway by December 12, more farmers are likely to join the protests on Friday. Police have stepped up vigil on the border areas to ensure the protesters cannot block highways.
On Thursday, the Centre said channels for more talks are open. Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar appealed to the protesters to stop their agitation as talks are still going on.