Capt to join stir against land ordinance, but not in Congress colours

  • Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Feb 27, 2015 13:25 IST

Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Capt Amarinder Singh, too, has finally decided to take on the BJP-led central government over the land ordinance, but not from the party stage. Instead, the former Punjab chief minister has picked the platform of All India Jat Mahasabha, of which he is the president.

Amarinder has been on the warpath against Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief Partap Singh Bajwa, but has so far failed to get the chair back despite rallying majority of the party MLAs on his side. The move now is being seen in that context.

In fact, Amarinder has often been accused by Bajwa of using the Jat Mahasabha to create a parallel body to the PPCC.

Most of the Mahasabha's office-bearers are Amarinder's protégés from the Congress. His son Raninder Singh and wife Preneet Kaur have distributed letters of appointment to the office-bearers across Punjab.

Announcing the stir, though without a set date so far, Amarinder said it would not only oppose the land acquisition law but also the reported cut-down in crop procurement by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) in Punjab and Haryana.

He said the proposal to reduce FCI's wheat procurement in Punjab by half "will sound the death knell for the already-strained agriculture economy of the state".

"The true colours of the BJP-led NDA government, of which the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is part and parcel, are coming out with its repeated anti-farmer measures and proposals," a statement by him read. He urged chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to urgently take up the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The stir plan includes demonstrations at district headquarters across Punjab in the first phase, followed by a state-level protest to be addressed by him and other farmer leaders.

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