January 30, 2021 3:51:17 am
While accusing the BJP of trying to “create a situation of confrontation at Singhu and Ghazipur borders through its carde”, the Shiromani Akali Dal on Friday asked its party cadre to rush to the three farmers’ protest sites on Delhi border in large numbers to boost the ongoing agitation.
During a media briefing in Delhi, SAD president Sukhbir Badal alleged that police were “bringing them (BJP cadre) forward, encouraging them and giving them full protection”.
He added that “BJP’s attempt to show that local people are against the agitators will cause harm and may lead to violence.”
Sukhbir also spoke to farm leader Rakesh Tikait and discussed ways to “shore up more strength and support for the farmers agitation in Delhi especially in view of the combined onslaught against farmers by the BJP and the Centre.”
After the telephonic conversation with Tikait, Sukhbir instructed the Akali cadre to “rush to Delhi in even large numbers than before to join their brethren on the Delhi borders and lend strength to the peaceful movement”.
“While many Akali contingents have already joined the farmers in the gathering, more are on the way in large numbers,” said Sukhbir.
Following his telephonic conversation with Tikait, SAD president dispatched an Akali delegation comprising senior party leader Balwinder Singh Bhunder, SAD Delhi unit president Harmit Singh Kalka and the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee chief Manjindner Singh Sirsa to the site of the farmers dharna led by Tikait where they honoured him.
“The party leaders had extensive talks with the farmer leader and discussed ways to lend more strength to the agitation. The delegation assured Tikait of wholehearted support in terms of men, material and morale to the farmers’ cause as the SAD is unanimously regarded as the largest elected representative of the farmers of Punjab,” said Sukhbir.
Earlier in the day, Sukhbir confronted the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh at the main entrance to the Parliament House, asking them to revoke the three anti-farmer Acts.
He told them that his party “would never let the famers agitation against these Acts to be either sabotaged or weakened through government conspiracies”.
During the media briefing, Sukhbir said, “BJP leaders were protesting in many sensitive places raising slogans like goli maaro desh ke gadaaron ko (Shoot the country’s traitors)…..if BJP activists raise such slogans, will it promote violence or peace? Does government of the country want violence or communal clashes. Country is not of any party but of all…This is a country of all religions.”
Alleging that Centre was trying to derail the farm agitation by linking it to a community, Sukhbir said, “This is not a struggle of any community. Government is attempting to derail it by linking it to a community. I want to appeal to all parties that they should all unite together. Centre wants to muzzle farmers’ voice…I also want to appeal to media also not to air such footage which disturbs the communal harmony…Our agenda is to ensure communal harmony..This has been our party’s stand. Our gurus taught us to seek sarbat da bhala (Welfare of all). We do not talk only of Sikhs, but of all,” Sukhbir further said, adding that farmers cannot be bogged down.
“You cannot say that farmers of the country are anti-national,” said Sukhbir.
Majithia’s video message
SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia in a video message gave a call to its party cadre to “rush to the three dharna sites on the border with Delhi in even larger numbers to give a further boost to the Kisan Andolan”.
Majithia said that the entire SAD leadership would reach the sites as and when requested by the farmer organisations.
He appealed to all SAD and Youth Akali Dal (YAD) workers “who had returned back to Punjab during the last one week to return back to the ‘dharna’ sites at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur”.
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