In the run up top the day-long Punjab Bandh called for September 25, agitating farmers have been expressing their anger against the agriculture Bills passed by the Parliament and are venting their sentiments against the SAD-BJP alliance holding them responsible for putting their livelihoods at stake.
A tractor rally was taken out by the Kisan Wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) from adjoining towns and villages, which converged at Fatehgarh Sahib Gurdwara here Thursday. The Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) has also held rallies in the town while taking out a march towards Delhi to gherao the Parliament.
Posters and banners put up in Fatehgarh Sahib and adjacent areas hold BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for the “anti-farmer” bills. ‘Kisan virodhi ho gaya Modi’ (Modi has turned anti-Kisan) proclaimed a banner outside the gurdwara.
Addressing the farmers at the gurdwara, Jaskaran Singh, president of the Kisan Wing of SAD (Amritsar) said that the Bills passed by the BJP-led Union government will lead to paddy and wheat crops meeting the same fate as maize and other crops for which farmers are not able to get adequate value.
“It is time that the farmers unite against this injustice being done to them and stand up against these draconian Bills. Otherwise the private players will form a cartel with the blessings of Akalis and BJP and will leave you all paupers,” said Jaskaran Singh.
Balkar Singh, a farmer from Morinda said that there was great anger among the agriculturists against BJP at the Centre and the Akalis in Punjab. “Today (SAD chief) Sukhbir Badal is making a big song and dance about making Harsimrat Kaur Badal resign from the ministership. But why was he defending these very ordinances just a few weeks back. We will make SAD and BJP pay for this in due time,” Jaspal Singh, a youth from Morinda said that his family owned five acres of land. “Sadda lakk tod ke rakh taa BJP sarkar ne. Eh saazish hai Punjab de kisaana de khilaaf taaki assi apna sir na chuk sakkiye (The BJP government has broken our back. This is a conspiracy against farmers of Punjab so that we are not able to hold our heads high),” he said.
A short distance away, on the Sirhind Patiala road, a group of farmers said that BJP will pay a heavy price in Punjab and Haryana for these legislations. “Assi vee vekhde haan kivein jittda koi BJP wala Punjab chon 2022 vich (We will see how any BJP candidate manages to win from Punjab in 2022 Assembly polls),” said octogenarian Rachpaal Singh.
Holding the Badals squarely responsible for the situation, farmer Dalip Singh said that they have “sold the state” at the hands of BJP. “Sukhbir da kee jaanda. Odde taan hotel ne, kothiyan ne. Ae taa Punjab da chhota kisan hai jeda rul jaoo (Sukhbir will not lose anything. He owns hotels, palatial houses. It is the farmer of Punjab who will be devastated),” he said.
Meanwhile, addressing farmers in Jandiala, rebel AAP MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira said that corporatisation of agriculture in Punjab was taking place with the tacit approval of the Badals.
“The Badals are already a corporate house. They own seven star hotels, they have an aviation company, they are building a house in Chandigarh on land measuring one and a half acres. They are not going to lose anything. Just a few days back (SAD patron) Parkash Singh Badal was defending the ordinances in videos and today Sukhbir is trying to encash on resignation of his wife. It is all a farce,” he said.
SAD (Democratic) leader Bir Devinder Singh said that nothing could be expected from (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi as he was hand in gloves with Adanis and Ambanis. “These Bills must not get the assent of the President and should be sent back to Parliament. There should be a specific mention of MSP in these Bills so that it can never be taken away,” he said.
Ridiculing the call of SAD for ‘chakka jaam’ on Friday, Bir Devinder said that the farmers have already called for a Punjab Bandh on that day. “What is the idea of calling a ‘chakka jaam’ on the day the state is already closed? This is nothing but a ploy to derail and sabotage the protest of the farmers. Under no circumstances should the farmers allow their agenda to be hijacked by Akalis or BJP,” he said.
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