CHANDIGARH, JANUARY 14: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said farm expert Bhupinder Singh Mann should have taken a stand for Punjab and Punjabiyat in the four member committee formed by the Supreme Court to initiate a dialogue with farm organizations instead of weakening their case by recusing himself from the committee which is already heavily tilted in favour of the centre and the latter’s pro Agri law stand.
The SAD came down even more heavily on right wing farm expert and chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s buddy Ashok Gulati for acting like a wolf in sheep’s clothing by openly accepting to become a member of the four member committee despite espousing the three hated Agricultural laws and terming them as the 1991 moment for Indian agriculture.
In a statement here, senior SAD leader Maheshinder Singh Grewal said Punjabis were astounded at the perfidy of Ashok Gulati who had accepted membership of the four member committee despite the fact that he was earlier a member of the Group of Experts formed by the Punjab government last year under the chairmanship of Montek Singh Ahluwalia. “However they are even more disappointed that Bhupinder Singh Mann also betrayed them by accepting nomination to the committee at the instance of chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh. This indicates that Mann acted like a pawn in the hands of not only the chief minister but also the central government and was used by both to backstab the farmers of the State and the country”.
Giving details, Maheshinder Grewal said Mann’s letter recusing himself from the committee was itself proof that the latter was under intense pressure from the Punjab government as well as the centre to come out with a verdict in favour of the Agri laws. “This is why the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader said he was recuing himself from the committee to ensure he did not compromise the interests of Punjab. It is clear that Mann’s conscience was pricking him and he did not want to betray his Punjabi brethren in any manner. However, instead of doing this he should have fought against this conspiracy to forcible enforce anti-people legislation through a hand-picked expert panel”.
The SAD leader said Mann’s letter recusing himself from the committee had exposed the Congress and BJP’s end game for all to see. “It is now clear as to who is sabotaging the farmer cause. The expert panel has lost its credibility especially considering the fact that the farmer organizations have refused to hold any negotiations with them. They should put in their papers immediately”, Grewal added.