CHANDIGARH: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Navjot Singh Sidhu has accused the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) of being what he called “the main architects of the three central farm laws”.
Addressing his first press conference after taking over the PPCC chief on Wednesday, Sidhu focused his attack on the Akali and consciously avoided targeting his own government. He said the three central farm laws were almost exact replicas of the contract farming law introduced in 2013 by the previous SAD-BJP government in Punjab Vidhan sabha.
After stiff opposition, the law was put on hold.
Giving clause-by-clause details of the Punjab contract farming law and how the BJP-led NDA government photocopied the clauses with minor changes to give it the shape of three central farm laws, Sidhu said: “The BJP and SAD are two sides of the same coin. The breakup of the alliance was a smokescreen. They were one and they will be one once again after the elections”.
Sidhu, who accompanied by his four working presidents, played pre-recorded videos of Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Singh Badal, and Harsimrat Singh Badal first praising and later opposing the same agriculture laws.
“Be it the dispute over settlement, farm services, sale of agriculture produce, the jurisdiction of settlement between buyer and farmer, imposing penalties, most of the clauses in the central farm,” Sidhu said. “Laws have been copied or provided to the BJP by SAD as it was part of the NDA.”
Sidhu also praised the state government’s farm loan waiver and loan debt waiver but without naming the chief minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, but avoided most other questions about the functioning of the Congress government.