Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday accused Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and his government of “trying to deceive farmers by issuing a false and misleading press statement about the all-party meeting held yesterday”.
Terming the statement released by the state’s Congress government Wednesday as “a breach of faith”, SAD chief said” “The release had been manipulated to show that the SAD had supported the resolutions moved by the government.”
He added, “This is furthest from the truth. The Congress was supported by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which spoke its language and acted as its rubber stamp. Few other political leaders also displayed their close ties with the Congress party on the occasion.”
Sukhbir also put out the recording of his speech during the all-party meeting to make his stand clear. He also separately wrote a letter to the CM deriding “the manner in which the Congress party had tried to mislead farmers and misquote him”.
He said there was “no discussion on merit about the central Ordinances on agriculture at the all party meeting”. He said he had “made it clear that there was no mention of ending MSP or assured marketing in any of the Ordinances”. Similarly, Sukhbir said, he had “pointed out that the Ordinances did not contain anything against federalism and that the SAD had a long record of sacrifices on this account”.
“I assured at the all party-meeting that MSP and assured marketing will not end. We as a party even said we are ready to get a written assurance on this account from the Union Agriculture Minister and would get an assurance from Parliament also when the Ordinances were tabled there. We even agreed to accompany a delegation to the PM to clarify doubts if any. However, this was misinterpreted by the government in its press release by stating that the SAD would accompany a delegation of representatives of all political parties led by the CM to get the central Ordinances withdrawn,” said Sukhbir.
The Akali Dal chief added that he had also asked CM Amarinder Singh to clarify if his government had passed all the provisions listed in the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce Ordinance in August, 2017 when it amended the State APMC Act. He said the Congress government had allowed establishment of private yards, direct marketing, e-trading and need for only one licence in the entire state. “These provisions have been incorporated in the central Ordinance now. I only asked the CM to clarify that if the provisions were anti-farmer he should tell why his government had approved them while amending its APMC Act. It is clear from the recording that the CM did not deny this assertion, and neither did Pradesh Congress President Sunil Jakhar,” said Sukhbir.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines