Derek O’Brien backs NDA’s former ally SAD, says fighting for farmers is part of Trinamool DNA
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Sunday extended its support to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which exited the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance late on Saturday, in its protest against the Centre over the three contentious farm bills.
“We support Sukhbir Singh Badal and Akali Dal’s stand with the farmers. Fighting for farmers is part of Trinamool DNA,” TMC lawmaker Derek O’Brien said.
The Rajya Sabha MP, who was suspended from the Rajya Sabha over the ruckus last week along with seven other members during the passage of the bills, said his party will contest the farm bills passed by both the Houses as it has a direct bearing on states’ role, minimum support price, public distribution price and procurement.
“In 2006, Mamata Banerjee risked her life on a historic 26 day fast for farmers’ rights. We oppose #FarmBills2020 as they endanger States’ role, MSP, PDS and procurement,” O’Brien tweeted.
The TMC’s support for NDA’s former ally comes after the SAD exited coalition saying that the legislation will destroy the agriculture sector. SAD member and former Union minister in the BJP-led government Harsimrat Kaur Badal had exited the Cabinet on September 17 over the bills which the party has been bitterly opposing.
SAD leader Sukhbir Singh Badal has said the decision to quit the NDA was taken because of the “Centre’s stubborn refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of farmers crops on MSP and its continued insensitivity to Punjabi and Sikh issues like excluding the Punjabi language as an official language in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Parliament had recently passed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill; Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill; and Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill.
The SAD is the third major NDA ally to pull out of the alliance after the Shiv Sena and the TDP.