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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Gujarat farmers' issue: Bajwa counters Badal

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, September 11, 2013
First Published: 00:19 IST(11/9/2013) | Last Updated: 14:03 IST(11/9/2013)

Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Tuesday accused chief minister Parkash Singh Badal of showing fake sympathy to the Sikh farmers ousted from Gujarat.

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Bajwa issued a statement here that Badal had failed to pursue Gujarat CM Narendra Modi to withdraw the special leave petition (SLP) that his government had filed in the Supreme Court against the Gujarat high court order, which had upheld the lower court's verdict in favour of the Sikh farmers settled in Gujarat since 1965. The Gujarat government led by Modi had declared the farmers non-agriculturists and asked them to go back to Punjab.

Bajwa said Badal had given false hopes to the farmers that he would speak with Modi and get them justice. "Modi's stating that he would not displace Sikh farmers is also a mockery, as the Gujarat government has hired top lawyers to contest the case," he added, appreciating that the farmers had not accepted the lawyer sent by the Punjab government.

"The case is in the Supreme Court, and if the farmers win, it won't be an obligation of Modi or Badal," said the state Congress president, adding that that if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Gujarat had no problem with Sikh farmers, what stopped it from withdrawing the SLP. "The SAD and BJP are alliance partners but Badal has no moral strength to take up the farmers' issue with Modi because of own business interests," he said.

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