Centre trying to defame farmers: Sukhbir Badal

The Centre is trying to tire out farmers by starting talks from the very beginning again, he said
Last Updated 21 December 2020, 17:29 IST

Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday accused the Centre of the bid to “defame” agitating farmers by raising the “bogey of talks” to create an impression that it is reasonable and farmers are wrong, according to a statement.

After paying obeisance at Gurudwara Katalgarh Sahib on the occasion of Shaheedi Jor Mela, Badal said, “The Centre is trying to tire out farmers by starting talks from the very beginning again. This is a futile exercise when the farmer organisations have already rejected the three agriculture laws and want them repealed.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi should call an emergency Parliament session and repeal these acts, said the SAD chief, adding that people have the final say in a democracy.

“People have made Narendra Modi the prime minister and it is his duty to listen to the voice of people, said Badal, whose party earlier pulled out of the National Democratic Alliance over the farm laws.

He said instead of doing this, the Centre first “linked the agitation to religion and separatists and now pitting brother against brother”.

“We have always fought for the rights of farmers and the downtrodden. We are also assisting the farmer agitation but are pained that the Union government is unmoved by the suffering of farmers,” said Badal.

The SAD chief further accused the Centre of “misusing” the Income Tax Department to target “arhtiyas” (commission agents).

“I warn the Centre that the more it tries to suppress the ongoing agitation, the more it will be strengthened,” he said.

Later, Badal after his party's core committee meeting in Chandigarh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not “shirk” from holding a special session of Parliament to repeal the three laws.

“Scrapping the winter session of parliament has already sent a very wrong message that the central government is running away from discussing the three Acts which were forced through in the last session. The government should hold an emergency session to resolve all grievances of farmers," he added.

In the meeting, it was decided that the party’s sub-committee comprising senior leaders Balwinder Singh Bhundur, Prem Singh Chandumajra and Sikander Singh Maluka will meet like-minded parties in coming days to make a joint strategy to force the Centre to repeal the three laws.

The sub-committee will also initiate discussions with other parties to ensure implementation of a federal structure in which the powers of the states were not "abrogated" by the Union government, according to a party statement.

The SAD has also decided to hold “akhand paths” (continuous recitation of religious texts) from January 2 to commemorate the “sacrifice” of Sikh preacher Sant Ram Singh and others who died during the ongoing farmers' agitation.

(Published 21 December 2020, 17:29 IST)

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