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As farmers' agitation continues, Punjab CM calls protest as unwarranted, undesirable

Mohali (Punjab) : As the farmers' agitation near the Chandigarh-Mohali border continued on Wednesday over various demands including a bonus on wheat, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann called the protest unwarranted and undesirable. Farmers from Punjab, who were stopped from heading to the state's capital to raise various demands, including a bonus on wheat, with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, sat on a protest near the Chandigarh-Mohali border on Tuesday. However, the Chief Minister said that he will fix all farmers' issues and is ready to meet them. "It's their right to protest... 'murdabad-murdabad' doesn't seem nice... I'll make everything right, but that doesn't mean that after 2 months, you start thinking 'murdabad' slogans haven't been raised, let's go to Chandigarh," said Mann on farmers' protest in Punjab on Tuesday.The Punjab Chief Minister on Tuesday asked the farmers to stop mere sloganeering and join hands with the state government for checking the depleting water table in Punjab. "I am ready to meet them (farmers), but 'Murdabad' (sloganeering) is not the way... I myself am a farmer's son... When I am saying basmati and moong dal will be on MSP...At least put in efforts... Not everything can be 'Murdabad'," he added. Meanwhile, the farmers said that we will stay here and register their protest till Bhagwant Mann fulfill their demands."We will stay here and register their protest until our demands are not fulfilled. Till then we will eat, drink and sleep here. We will bring all our belongings with us, we will do this like Delhi, said a farmer. In a statement issued by the Chief Minister's Office, Mann categorically said that a staggered program for sowing of paddy won't harm the interests of the farmers but it can act as a catalyst to save the water table in the state.Bhagwant Mann said that he was acting as per the path shown by the great gurus and no one can stop him from that. He unequivocally said that his doors are open for talks with the farmers but hollow slogans can't broke his firm resolve to check the further depletion of water table. "I am the son of a farmer and I know it well what was requirements of the farmers. I am fully aware of the difference between June 10 and June 18," he said. However, Bhagwant Mann said that he doesn't owe any patent for water and air but even he owes a larger responsibility towards saving these natural precious resources. He said that instead of staging protests, the farmers should come forward and support the state government for this noble cause aimed at betterment of Punjab and Punjabis. "I had already announced purchasing the Basmati and Moongi crop on MSP adding that the state government was also incentivising the farmers adopting direct sowing," said the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister asked the farmers to support him for a year and said that if the farmers suffer any loss during this period then the state government will fully compensate them. He asked the agitating farmers unions to tell that whether he was wrong because he is thinking about saving the water and checking environmental pollution in the state. Mann also asked the agitating unions that why they were mum when a bus of school children met an accident due to straw burning at Batala or when two small children died due to fire. The Chief Minister said that it is the high time that all of us should make concerted efforts for saving Punjab instead of indulging in such tantrums. Bhagwant Mann said that he had been raising the issue of farmers in Lok Sabha and now also he is duty bound to secure their interests. However, he said that Farmers should also realise the gravity of situation and support the state government.

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