Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday said that “the stoppage of inbound goods trains in Punjab could amount to an economic blockade of the sensitive border state” and “shatter its already staggering economy apart, from causing unspeakable sufferings to the common people”.
He said that this approach smacks of ‘needless and ominous confrontation which will serve no one’s interest.”
He urged the Centre to immediately resume normal goods train services in the state.
“The decision to further extend the ban on goods trains in Punjab would completely devastate the entire business, trade and industry, apart from agriculture here. The decision needs to be reversed immediately. Do not punish the patriotic and peace loving people of Punjab for demanding their democratic rights,” Sukhbir said in a statement here.
The SAD president said that all the tracks where the trains in question are to run are “open and functional. There is no ground whatsoever to resort to such blanket ban on goods train services. These must be resumed immediately.”
Akali leader and former minister Bikram Singh Majithia on Monday said CM Captain Amarinder Singh had “deceived Punjabis by stating the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) took an about turn on its stand in the Vidhan Sabha”.
Majithia in a press conference here asked CM, “why he had refused to take three crore Punjabis into confidence before passing Bills vis a vis the Central agri marketing laws”.
“I made it clear that it was the supreme sacrifice of farmers agitating against the central black laws had forced the government to hold a special session after the chief minister rejected the proposal outrightly. However despite calling a special session, the Congress government refused to consult all stakeholders including farmer organisations as well as three crore Punjabis. The government refused to entertain my request to put off passing of the Bills for one day to consult all stakeholders. It is because of this that I mentioned in my speech that an opportunity had been lost and now we might have to take up this matter again after three months,” said Majithia, referring to his “speech” in Vidhan Sabha. Majithia said he had “also made it clear in his speech that the proposed Bills needed gubernatorial and Presidential sanction which might not come about”.
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