Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday hit back at his Punjab counterpart Amarinder Singh for accusing his government of displaying double standards by notifying one of the Centre’s new farm laws last month, ANI reported. The Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party has extended its support to the protesting farmers.

Kejriwal accused Singh of indulging in “low-level” politics in a sensitive situation. “Punjab CM [chief minister] has made allegations against me that I’ve passed the black laws in Delhi,” Kejriwal said. “How can he do such low-level politics in this fragile situation? It’s not up to the state government to implement it. Had it been so why would farmers of the country hold talks with Centre.”

The Delhi chief minister said Singh was levelling allegations against him because he did not allow stadiums in the Capital to be converted into jails for the agitating farmers. “[The] Centre had plans to put the farmers in these stadiums,” Kejriwal said. “They’re upset with me as I didn’t give permission for making them jails.”

On Tuesday, AAP’s Punjab unit also accused Singh of colluding with the Bharatiya Janata Party to defame the Kejriwal-led government. “After the plan to imprison the farmers failed, the BJP and Captain [Singh] schemed to defame Kejriwal and falsely accuse him of passing black laws,” the party said in a tweet. “The entire Punjab knows that the Captain and the Badals got the three black laws passed.”

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Singh, meanwhile, accused Kejriwal of executing the farm laws in Delhi. “Even as AAP was claiming to be supporting the agitating farmers, the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi had brazenly executed the black laws through a gazette notification on November 23, 2020,” he was quoted as saying by The Tribune.

Singh also alleged that the AAP had been working behind the farmers’ backs. “The party’s true intent and affiliation has been utterly exposed,” he added.

The BJP’s Information Technology Cell head Amit Malviya had also accused AAP of playing politics over the farmers’ protest. On Monday, he tweeted images of the gazette notification for the implementation of the farm laws in the Capital.

The AAP clarified that the notification, referred to by Malviya, allowed farmers to sell their crop anywhere, including outside the mandi (wholesale market).

“Selling of fruits and vegetables was already de-regulated in Delhi many years back,” the party said, according to NDTV. “Now this holds for grains too. We have not dismantled mandis and they are continuing.”

The farmers “Chalo Dilli [let’s go to Delhi]” march entered the seventh day on Wednesday. Leaders of farmer unions warned that they will take more steps if the Centre does not fulfill their demands and abolishes the new agricultural laws.

The Centre had on Tuesday called for another round of talks with the protesting farmers on December 3 after its meeting with the union leaders failed to break the impasse over the agricultural laws.

The farm laws

The farmers are protesting against the three ordinances – Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Ordinance 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment & Protection) Assurance and Farm Service Ordinance 2020 and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance 2020 – that were passed in September. They were signed into laws by President Ram Nath Kovind on September 27.

Farmers and traders have also alleged that the government wants to discontinue the minimum support price regime in the name of reforms. They fear that the laws will leave them at the mercy of corporate powers. The government has maintained that farm laws will bring farmers better opportunities and usher in new technologies in agriculture.