After SAD’s ultimatum to state government to call a special session of Vidhan Sabha within a week, CM Amarinder Singh Monday said that convening the session to negate the Centre’s farm laws was his government’s prerogative and SAD had neither the moral right nor any political standing to dictate terms to him or his government.
“It was ludicrous that the party which had boycotted the last Vidhan Sabha session to avoid voting for the resolution against the farm laws was now so desperate about convening the next session to reject those very legislations,” the Chief Minister said, in a statement. He termed the SAD’s ultimatum and threat of gherao his residence on the issue as yet another example of the shocking double standards of the Badals who had brazenly backstabbed the farmers on the issue.
Amarinder said he “did not need the Akalis’ advice or ultimatums to do the right thing for the farmers, whom SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and former union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal had virtually thrown to the corporate wolves through active collusion with the BJP”.
The CM said that he and his government were committed to do everything in their power to save the farmers from the consequences of the Badals’ sins. He added that the farming community did not need the Akalis to fight their battles, especially when the problem was of the SAD’s making.
The Chief Minister dismissed the Akali threats as nothing more than a desperate bid by the Badals to get back into the good books of Punjab’s farmers to ensure their own political careers, which stood at the brink of extinction due to their anti-people and anti-farmer actions.
On the SAD’s demand that the Centre should fix MSP as per the Swaminathan formula, Captain Amarinder mocked the Akalis’ sudden recollection of the Swaminathan Committee suggestions, which they had not once mentioned in the past 6 years. “How many times in all these years did Harsimrat bring up the Swaminathan Committee in the Union Cabinet while she was a minister? When was the last time Sukhbir even think of the Swaminathan formula?” asked the Chief Minister.
Sources, meanwhile, said that the government was studying the model Act being sent by the party high command to all the Congress ruled states. “It is being studied. We will tweak it to suit the needs of Punjab farmers,” a source said.
Another Cabinet minister, however, said with Akalis giving an ultimatum to the government, the session should be called after the ultimatum period is over. “Let them sit on a dharna. We should call the session after a week now. I will press for this in the Cabinet meeting,” he said.
Meanwhile, internally the party leaders are pressing the government for being visible in the farmer’s protests, “The farmers are not allowing us to use their stage. We are sitting at home. AAP state chief Bhagwant Mann has taken the AAP action to Delhi. What are we doing? We could have also done something. But we are not,” said a leader on anonymity.
CM rules out sacking Dharamsot
Amarinder also rejected SAD’s ultimatum for sacking state SC Welfare minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot in the alleged scholarship scam, in which a committee of 3 IAS officers and even the Chief Secretary had given him a clean chit. “I am not going to take action to suit your whims and fancies,” he told the Badals.
In favour of opening corridor: CM
As far as the Kartarpur Corridor was concerned, the Chief Minister said his government was also in favour of its opening, but it was up to the central government to take a decision based on assessment of security perception and the Covid situation.
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