Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has called the SAD decision to quit the NDA as “nothing more than a desperate case of political compulsion for the Badals, who were effectively left with no other option after the BJP’s public criticism of the SAD over the farm Bills”.
In a statement, Amarinder said he had already pointed out that the NDA would throw the Akalis out if the latter did not leave gracefully, and added that there was no moral high ground involved in this decision of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
“The Akalis had no choice before them, since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had already made it clear that it held SAD responsible for failing to convince the farmers about the goodness of the agriculture Bills,” he said.
The SAD decision to quit NDA was just the culmination of their saga of lies and deception, which eventually led to their being cornered on the issue of the Bills, the CM said, adding that SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal was virtually caught between the devil and the deep sea after his initial unprincipled stand on the farm ordinances, followed by the sudden U-turn in the face of farmer protests.
The CM said with the BJP-led ruling coalition at the Centre exposing the SAD web of lies, fabrications and double speak, the Akalis could not have done anything except leave the NDA. But far from helping them save face, which they probably hoped to do, the Akalis will find themselves in a bigger political mess now, having been left with no place either in Punjab or at the Centre, he added.
Amarinder said if Sukhbir, his wife and former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur and other SAD leaders had any shame left, they should admit to their deceitful actions as part of the Union government and should beg the farmers for forgiveness.
Earlier in day, taking a dig at Sukhbir’s remark that Harsimrat’s resignation from the Union Cabinet was like ‘an atom bomb that had shaken the Prime Minister’, Amarinder quipped it was not even a damp squib of a fizzled out fire-cracker. The Prime Minister, and his BJP, do not care for the Akalis, as is evident from the former’s criticism of their alliance partner, and also the promptness with which Harsimrat’s resignation was accepted, said the Chief Minister.
The CM also lashed out at the Akali president’s attempt to take credit for the successful farmers’ agitation and Punjab Bandh, terming as atrocious Sukhbir’s reported statement that the SAD had organised the state-wide protests. “SAD actually tried to hijack the farmers’ agitation by announcing its state-wide ‘chakka jam’ much after the farmers had declared the Bandh, he said. This, he added, had not gone down well with the farmers’ organisations, who had outright condemned the Akali actions.
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