Punjab CM asks parties to unitedly fight against farm Bills

Chandigarh, Sep 24 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday appealed to all political parties to rise above “petty considerations” and come on one platform to fight unitedly against the “treacherous” agriculture Bills that would destroy the state’s farmers.

Asserting his commitment to protect the rights of the farmers at all costs, he said that he was ready to lead the political fight against the “unconstitutional” anti-farmer Bills with all his might.

“I will do what it takes to save my farmers and my state from these dangerous new laws, whose implementation will cripple the farming sector and also destroy Punjab’s lifeline of agriculture,” he added.

In a statement, the Chief Minister said the Congress had always stood with the farmers and will fight with them, shoulder to shoulder, to scuttle the Centre’s plans to “ruin” not just their own families and the labourers, who toil on the fields day and night to feed the nation, but the entire state of Punjab.

“The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union Government has stooped to a new low by bringing these Bills, and that too in a totally undemocratic and unparliamentary manner,” said Amarinder Singh, adding that his government, supported by the Congress state unit, will oppose the legislations tooth and nail in the interest of not just the farmers and the state but the entire country.

Lambasting the Akalis for “trying to change the narrative through their concerted and deliberate efforts to transform the Punjab versus Centre fight into a local political clash for their vested interests”, he said they have changed the history of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), reducing it from a political force into a puppet of the BJP.

He dismissed SAD leader Harsimat Kaur Badal’s resignation from the Union Cabinet as a mockery of the Akali history of sacrifices, before the Badals hijacked the party and converted it into their personal fiefdom for their own gains.

“Is giving up a berth in the Union Cabinet a sacrifice? The Badals clearly do not know the meaning of sacrifice,” he quipped, ridiculing SAD chief Sukhbir Badal’s latest statement that the Akali Dal can make any sacrifice for farmers.

“What are you still doing in the anti-farmer NDA government at the Centre,” he asked the Akali leader.

Sukbir Badal’s assertion that SAD will not let any corporate enter Punjab if the people bring in an Akali Dal government in the state clearly showed that it was all about power, and the entire drama was being enacted by their party to get into the saddle, said the Chief Minister.

Terming the SAD’s purported U-turn on the Bills as “a desperate step taken under political compulsion”, when faced with the threat of total eradication from Punjab’s political arena, he pointed out neither Sukhbir Singh Badal nor his wife Harsimrat even once opposed the farm ordinances at any point till they were presented in the Lok Sabha.

In fact, the duo continued to actively defend the ordinances as being supportive of the farmers, Amarinder Singh said, pointing to Sukhbir Badal’s stand at the all-party meeting and his decision to stay away from the state Assembly session at which the resolution opposing the Bills was passed.

All their claims now of being with the farmers in this fight against the Bills are a complete farce, which even the agitating farmers are not accepting, he added.

–IANS

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