CHANDIGARH, SEPTEMBER 19: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today appealed to all political parties to join the ‘sangharsh’ against the three agricultural bills even as it castigated the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for backstabbing farmers by not opposing the passage of the bills in the Lok Sabha.
Addressing a virtual press conference here, senior leader and former mp Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra appealed to all political parties to form “ek soch aur ek manch” on the issue, saying Punjab could not afford any division on this issue. “All farmer organizations and political parties should support the SAD in its ‘sangharsh’ against the Bills”, Prof Chandumajra said adding divisions in the past had led to the loss of the State’s river waters and its capital”.
Chandumajra also made it clear that the SAD would come out with a party programme against the Agricultural Bills. “We will not sit quiet. We have always raised the voice of the farmers and ‘khet mazdoor’ and will continue to do so as per the rich and glorious traditions of the party”.
Stating that the SAD was ready to prepare a ‘sanjha manch’ to ensure justice for the farmers of the State, the Akali leader said the Congress and AAP should, however, stop trying to deceive farmers by playing a double game. “On the one hand these parties are opposing the agricultural bills in Punjab, but they colluded with each other and did not join the ‘haan yan na ki ladai’ in Delhi. If the Congress and AAP had insisted on a division of votes on the Bill seeking amendments in the Essential Commodities Act, the BJP might have been forced to postpone tabling of the Agricultural Bills”.
Prof Chandumajra said this was not all. Chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh was also guilty of not only becoming a member of the high powered committee which approved the agricultural ordinances, but had also given his suggestions which were in line with the suggested ordinances. “This amounts to betraying the trust of the entire farming community”. He also pointed out that neither Congress President Sonia Gandhi nor AAP Convener Arvind Kejriwal had uttered a single word against the agricultural ordinances indicating both parties were only crying crocodile tears now.
The Akali leader also made it clear that the SAD had always raised Sikh issues as a partner in the NDA government. “We were able to ensure imprisonment of 1984 genocide perpetrator Jagdish Tytler, get the blacklist kept in Indian Missions abroad abolished, get the Kartarpur Corridor opened and ensure the linkage of the holy towns of Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal Sahib and Tarn Taran with Sri Amritsar Sahib under the Jammu-Amritsar-Katra expressway project. It is however unfortunate that even though we expressed our concerns to the BJP and conveyed the sentiments of the farming community to its central leadership it did not address the issue. We, however, will not fail in our duty to farmers and will continue to strive to ensure justice for them and Punjab”, Prof Chandumajra added.