September 21, 2021 10:36:36 pm
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Tuesday asked senior farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal to “keep the Kisan Andolan above politics” and requested him to “take concrete action against hooligans who had targeted Akali workers proceeding to Delhi to participate in the party’s march to Parliament instead of attacking the SAD”.
Addressing a press conference here, senior SAD leaders Prem Singh Chandumajra, Maheshinder Singh Grewal and Daljit Singh Cheema said it was most unfortunate that even after admitting that some wrong elements wanted to defame the farm agitation, the farm leader had neither secured an unconditional apology from those guilty of hooliganism nor subjected them to the process of law.
Chandumajra and Grewal also took objection to Rajewal’s statement that only SAD legislators and MPs should have gone to protest in Delhi.
They added, “We fail to understand what objection he has to a protest by thousands of people. Earlier also, thousands of farmers marched to Parliament which sent out a message of unity and strength attracting worldwide attention.”
Asserting that the SAD held Rajewal in high esteem, the SAD leaders said “Rajewal, however, should not lower his dignity by making political statements. We are ready to debate political issues separately and the Kisan forum should not be used for the same”.
They pointed out how the speeches made by former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal in Parliament were a matter of public record and that Harsimrat was the lone Central minister in the history of the state to resign from the ministry in support of the farming community.
Cheema rebutted the assertion of Rajewal that the SAD was defaming the Kisan Andolan by releasing videos. In fact, the videos showing Akali leaders and even women being abused, intimidated and even robbed besides the damage done to their vehicles have been posted by the perpetrators and not the victims.
He also asked if Rajewal had taken notice of this criminal activity and why he did not inform the people of the action by him and the Kisan unions in the case.
Cheema said, “It was unfortunate that Rajewal had chosen to politicise the issue and also paint the SAD, whose MP had resigned from the Union ministry and the party even quit the NDA, in poor light.”
Cheema added that Rajewal had, however, chosen to remain silent on the Congress party’s role in the framing of the ordinances as well as amendments done in the APMC Act by the Congress government in 2017.
The SAD leaders also said that the protest organised by it on September 17 was aimed at strengthening the Kisan Andolan. They said, “Rajewal should have appreciated this step.” They added that the party had also made it clear during the protest that it was committed to repealing the three agriculture laws, making MSP a legal right and ensuring assured government procurement of all major crops.
“All slogans raised in the Delhi protest pertained to these three demands only and we will continue to raise these demands till they are accepted,” they added.
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