Updated: September 28, 2021 11:33:22 pm
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “intervene personally, immediately and effectively” and invite protesting farmers for talks without any preconditions to revoke the three “Black Acts” on agri-marketing. He also urged the PM to convene a special session of Parliament to revoke the three agri laws that have led the country to this “impasse”.
“If the government had heeded the SAD advice on the issue when the party not only voted against the Bills in Parliament but even quit the Cabinet and broke its alliance with BJP to protest against the three He said, “As a first step, the government must invite farmer organisations for talks without any precondition and without any further loss of time.”
The government and farmer unions have held 11 rounds of talks so far, the last being on January 22, to break the deadlock and end the farmers’ protest. Talks have not resumed following widespread violence during a tractor rally by protesting farmers on January 26. Acts, the situation today would have been different,” Sukhbir said.
Felicitating farmers, especially those from Punjab and Haryana, for the “complete success” of the peaceful Bharat Bandh on Monday, Sukhbir said this should show the government that the people of the entire country stood solidly behind their ‘annadata’ (food provider).
Meanwhile, the Akali Dal announced to hold a protest march to Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s residence to “highlight the injustice being done to two lakh farmers whose lands are being acquired for peanuts for Delhi-Katra express and various road projects under the Bharat Mala project” which would pass through more than two dozen districts of Punjab. Akali Dal appealed to the farmers whose lands were acquired at “ridiculously” low prices in the State to join the protest. Party senior vice president Daljit Singh Cheema said party workers would assemble at Gurdwara Amb Sahib at Mohali on Wednesday morning and would proceed to the CM’s residence in Chandigarh from there. The SAD leader said it was condemnable that even though the Sangharsh Committee had been agitating for fair compensation since the last one year, the Congress government had refused to revise the land awards.
Punjab Road Kisan Sangharsh Committee representative in Ludhiana Bikarjit Singh said while 2 lakh landowners would be affected directly or directly in the state, 35,000 to 40,000 families would be directly affected as 25,000 to 30,000 acres of land is to be acquired in Punjab under the project. He said that others will be affected as they will face several problems like service lanes to their fields from the land road would pass through. The Centre has to pay the compensation for the land acquired and the Punjab government’s role is to complete the land acquisition process to make it available for the project, Bikarjit Singh added. He added that in some of the districts, the compensation award had been released, but farmers had not accepted”. He added that Sangharsh Committee was hopeful that the Congress government in Punjab, after the recent change in guard, would ensure that landowners get adequate compensation for their acquired land. He further said that apart from farmers, land holdings of sheller owners, brick kilns and even factories were to be acquired in the state.
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