Amid farm protests, all political parties in Punjab have a common allegation against each other — of complicity with BJP at the Centre. Major political parties active in the state, including the ruling Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have been trading charges over being in cahoots with the BJP.
While the Congress, has been levelling allegations against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and former Chief Minister and SAD leader Parkash Singh Badal’s family of complicity with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, both these parties in turn accuse Punjab CM Amarinder Singh of colluding with Centre after pressure due to Enforcement Directorate cases against his son, Raninder Singh.
Former Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, a few days ago, had accused Amarinder of being under pressure from the ED and not supporting farmer’s cause. To this Amarinder retorted by saying, “For 13 years, I have been going to courts because of the cases initiated against me by the Badals, I am not bothered about the ED. I can go to courts and fight for another 13 years.”
Amarinder has been counter-attacking Badals’ for being a part of Modi Cabinet that cleared the farm ordinances. PPCC chief Sunil Kumar Jakhar has been saying that Akalis were still doing the bidding of the the Centre.
Harsimrat accused Kejriwal of having “danced to the tune of Centre and not supporting the farmers”.
On Friday, in a fresh statement, she hit out at AAP leader and said that he had notified one of the three farm laws on November 23, and was engaging in theatrics by tearing off the copies in Delhi Vidhan Sabha on Thursday.
Amarinder, on Friday, also accused both SAD and AAP of pawning off the state’s interests to the BJP. “AAP and SAD MLAs never say what they mean, and vice versa,” said the Chief Minister in an informal interaction with mediapersons in Mohali after the launch of second phase of Punjab Smart Connect Scheme.
When his government passed Bills in the Vidhan Sabha to negate the Centre’s black farm laws, both AAP and SAD MLAs extended support, but then both the parties changed their tune to suit their political interests, said Amarinder.
“And now, in a bid to exploit the farmers’ agitation, they have again done a U-turn on the issue and are projecting themselves as the messiahs of the farmers, whose interests both parties had been instrumental in pawning off to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” he quipped.
Kejriwal, and other AAP leaders, on the other hand too have been attacking Amarinder and Badals of being in cahoots with Centre. Kejriwal had tweeted a few days ago, “Captain, I have stood with the farmers from the beginning. Did not let Delhi’s stadium become a jail, fought the Center. I am serving the farmers by serving them. You set-up a deal with the Centre to get your son’s ED case forgiven, sold the farmers’ movement? Why?”
Bhagwant Mann, also AAP Punjab president, also accused Chief Minister Amarinder Singh of being “puppet in the hands of the Modi government at the Centre”.
He said that Amarinder had “bartered the interest of Punjab” due to his “personal weaknesses” and “to protect his family members involved in serious cases of money laundering”.
He challenged Amarinder that “if he had the guts”, he should go to the farmers movement and tell the Modi government to address the concerns of the country’s ‘annadata’ by rolling back the three contentious farm laws.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines