SHIROMANI AKALI Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday said that the BJP-led NDA government had made a “mockery of farmers and insulted them” by inviting them for a meeting with the bureaucracy, adding that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who should have met the farmers.
“The farmers showed magnanimity by going there. They did not want to send a message that they are not going for talks. But the Centre made a mockery of them. It backstabbed them. Centre called them on the pretext that it will address their concerns. But it is unfortunate that no Union Cabinet minister came to meet farm brethren. They sent a secretary who had no powers to take any decision. BJP’s top leadership is doing video conferencing in Punjab. Can’t ministers meet them there? If they did not have time they should have rescheduled the meeting to some other day. Was it not possible for Prime Minister to meet farm brethren? If he was busy, he should have given time for some other day. I feel farmers have been insulted.”
Alleging that the Centre and the Amarinder-led government in Punjab were “playing this match together”, Sukhbir alleged that both were resorting to “dilly-dallying” in the matter “thinking that farmers would get tired and return to their homes”.
Sukhbir alleged that Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh was “acting at the behest of the BJP government in trying to sabotage the farmers’ movement”. “Amarinder sent his ministers to farmers to mislead them into withdrawing their just struggle and end the road and rail roko. Neither BJP nor Congress could understand the feeling of farmers,” he added.
The SAD chief said that his party was with the farmers in their struggle. He said his party would fully abide by “whatever commands we receive from the farm organizations in this struggle”.
Sukhbir demanded that all the “black laws” against farmers be scrapped and farmers organizations be consulted on the way forward.
“The farmers loss is the loss of the entire nation. The black laws are against not just farmers but also khet mazdoors, mandi labour, arhtiyas, small traders and shopkeepers as well as the overall business, trade and industry in the country,” he added.
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