A day before Rahul Gandhi’s three-day scheduled visit to Punjab to lead tractor march against three farm Acts, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal Saturday asked the Congress leader to “tell Punjabis why he had played a fixed match to facilitate the passage of the three anti-farmer Bills in Parliament”.
“I want to ask Rahul five questions. Did your party’s 2017 election manifesto in Punjab say that you will open private ‘mandis’ and give permission for e trading the contract farming which is in force now? If so, why haven’t you repealed the amended APMC Act in Punjab till now? Did you in your 2019 election manifesto state that you will abolish the APMC Act altogether and make agri-trade free from all restrictions? Why did you choose to leave the country one day before the Agri Bills were to be taken up in parliament and come back the day they became Acts? Also why didn’t you issue a whip to your MPs to vote against the Bills and field senior leaders to oppose them?” said Sukhbir as he addressed a press conference at party head office.
Taking swipe at Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Sukhbir said, “On one hand the chief minister called a special Assembly session to pass a resolution rejecting the central agricultural ordinances and on the other he did not send them to the Centre for more than one month”.
He said “similarly Capt Amarinder had refused to introduce legislation to negate the implementation of the farm Acts in the state.”
Dismissing talks that farmer agitation would jeopardize peace and communal harmony in the state, Sukhbir said the SAD had made the most sacrifices to safeguard peace and communal harmony in the country and would not shrug away from continuing to do so.
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