Stop shedding crocodile tears for farmers’, Capt Amarinder to Sukhbir Badal
Says SAD has no locus standii to even pretend concern after supporting ordinances
Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday asked Akali chief Sukhbir Badal to stop shedding crocodile tears over the plight of the farmers, whose very existence was threatened by the farm ordinances passed by the central government with the support of his party.
Having given its full backing to the ordinances, which were clearly the first step towards elimination of the MSP regime, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had lost all locus standii to even pretend to care about the farmers, whose condition had deteriorated to abysmal levels under their rule, said Captain Amarinder. Sukhbir should not forget that as Union Minister, his wife and SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal, was part of the Cabinet meeting that stamped its approval on the ordinances that will totally destroy Punjab’s farming community, he added.
Ridiculing the SAD president’s offer to lead a delegation of farmer organisations to seek clarification from the Centre on MSP, the Chief Minister said it was evident that Sukhbir was totally disconnected from the ground situation.
The Chief Minister pointed out that the ordinances, that were completely against India’s federal structure, were in line with the recommendations of the Shanta Kumar committee, which had also suggested dismantling the MSP structure. Having implemented the recommendation on the ordinances, the inference was logical that the MSP elimination would soon follow, he said, adding that Sukhbir was conveniently choosing to ignore that in order to protect the interests of SAD, in particular his own and his wife’s interests.
No purpose will be solved now by Sukbir pretending concern about the farmers, whose interests his own party was instrumental in damaging by being an active supporter of the ordinances, said Captain Amarinder. Left with no defence for SAD’s anti-farmer and anti-Punjab actions, Sukhbir was not trying desperately to save face with his offer, said the Chief Minister.
Having been repeatedly cheated by the central government, which has failed to take a single initiative to protect the farmers’ interests in the past six years, neither the farmers nor their representative organisations had any trust now in their assurances, said Captain Amarinder. Sukhbir does not even seem to know that Punjab’s farmer organisations had already protested openly against the ordinances, which they also found to be completely anti-farmer and designed to pave the way for ending the MSP procurement regime, said Captain Amarinder.
In the circumstances, any promise or clarification on the part of the Union Agriculture Ministry would be meaningless unless they withdraw the ordinances to show that they truly had the interests of the farmers at heart, he added.
Flaying the SAD for their double standards, which had been manifest on many issues in recent months, including the CAA, the Chief Minister asked why Sukhbir was not withdrawing his party’s support to the BJP-led government at the Centre if the was really concerned about the farmers.