‘Sukhbir Singh Badal favoured farm ordinances for being pro-farmer, opposed resolution’: Navjot Singh Sidhu
- Navjot Singh Sidhu alleged that Sukhbir Singh Badal “favoured the ordinances, opposed resolution arguing that there was nothing wrong in ordinance, describing it as pro-farmer”.
Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu hit out at Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) Sukhbir Singh Badal, alleging that Badal cited the three farm ordinances as “pro farmer” and “withdrew” when the Punjab government passed a resolution demanding unconditional withdrawal of the three laws during the budget session of the state assembly in March.
Sidhu alleged that Badal “favoured the ordinances, opposed resolution arguing that there was nothing wrong in ordinance, describing it as pro-farmer”.
Akali Dal members had created an uproar in the assembly when chief minister Amarinder Singh was replying to the Governor's address on the day the resolution was passed in the House in early March. Singh had lashed out at Badal and his wife and former Union minister Harmsimrat Kaur, accusing them of brazenly cheating the people of Punjab with their double-speak on the farm laws.
Sidhu also hit out at the Badals calling them “neeti nirmata” of Centre’s three farm laws, alleging that these laws were similar to the Punjab Contract Farming Act, 2013, that was passed by the BJP-SAD government in March of 2013, after being tabled in the assembly by then chief minister Prakash Singh Badal of SAD.
The Contract Farming Act was also cited by Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar in the Rajya Sabha in February of this year while arguing in favour of the new farm laws. Tomar has stated in the House that "Punjab Contract Farming Act provides for jail and fine up to ₹five lakh for the farmer. In the Act made by the Government of India, the farmer can come out of contract farming at any time."
Sidhu’s allegations come as SAD is gearing up to observe September 17 as a ‘black day’ on the completion of one year of the enactment of the three laws to protest against the laws. Badal has urged protesting farmers to join the protest march from Gurdwara Rakab Ganj to Parliament demanding repeal of the three laws.
Sidhu also talked about the pro-farmer policies brought by the Congress party while it was in power, stating that “it's Congress that brought MSP, mandi, National Food Security Act, The Public Distribution System was also brought by the Congress.”