Arvind Kejriwal said his government rejected the Centre’s demand to keep the farmers in the stadiums as he too spent nights in a staudim during his Anna protest in 2011.
As the protest of the farmers against the three controversial farm laws completes a year on Friday, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi Assembly said he feels sorry for BJP leaders who had to react with ‘Wah kya masterstroke hai’ with every decision — be it the farm laws or their withdrawal. In a speech in the Delhi Assembly on the one-year completion of the farmers’ protest, the chief minister said that when the Centre asked the AAP government to put the farmers coming from Punjab inside stadiums, he remembered his days as a protester along with Anna Hazare. “I have also spent nights in a stadium. I knew it was a way to foil the protest. We did not allow that with the farmers. The Centre was rattled with us. In any case, the Centre is always angry with us,” Kejriwal said.
“It was the government’s pride that they thought they could pass any bill in Parliament. They thought farmers will come, protest for some days and then will go back,” Kejriwal said.
Comparing the year-long protest with that of India’s freedom movement, Kejriwal said the farmers’ protest was no less than the freedom movement. And at the end, it was the victory of not the farmers, but of democracy, the chief minister said adding that he doesn’t know of any protest across the world that went on for so long. “In 1907, there was a protest of farmers against the British. That went on for nine months. This was the protest of the farmers against the government they elected and it went on for a year,” Kejriwal said.
Referring to the Lakhimpur incident, Kejriwal said had the Supreme Court not intervened, then they would not even have arrested the minister’s son. Congratulating the farmers and the women of Punjab in spearheading the protest, Kejriwal said the protesters weathered teh harsh winter, followed by another wave of Corona, dengue outbreak etc. but did not give up.