SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, during a visit to Bathinda on Thursday, expressed surprise at Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar’s statement that 50 per cent of the farmers’ demands had been met.
While most farmer union leaders have said that something positive came out of their last meeting with the Centre, they are now looking for repeal of farm laws as their main demand for the January 4 meeting.
“I was surprised to hear his (Tomar’s) statement. The proposed Electricity Amendments, 2020, it is not even a Bill as of now. The environment ordinance is again not even a Bill as of now. The main demand is repeal and hence against the Union minister’s claim of agreeing to 50 per cent demands, I must say that it is still zero per cent as we want repeal of laws for which farmers started this agitation.” Sukhbir had come to Takht Damdama Sahib in Talwandi Sabo to get Akhand Path started for ‘Chardi Kalan’ of farmers so that their demands are met soon and they come home happily. Party will be organising Akhand Path in all the districts where farmers died during the ongoing struggle.
Speaking to mediapersons, the SAD chief said, “This is an emotional struggle now which is above politics, and each and every farmer is part of it. Almost each and every worker of SAD, our 65 constituency in-charges, are at protest dharnas as they are also farmers. A tent city has also been made by our youth workers at the borders and even Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) is contributing by serving langar.”
He added, “It is a struggle for the pride of Kisani against an arrogant ruler. A PM is just like a head of the family and if any family members are upset, he must listen to them rather than adopting a confrontational attitude. As of now the Centre wants to do dictatorship, they want to grab powers of the states, due to which they made these black laws. Now even the Bar Association of SC has said these laws are illegal as this was the right of the states (to talk about agriculture) and the Centre wanted to grab the powers of state.”
“This issue of snatching powers of states is very serious and we appeal to all political parties to come under one platform so as to press upon this issue. SAD is already in touch with CMs of many states on this issue.”
Specifying yet again as why he called BJP the ‘Tukde Tukde’ gang, Sukhbir said, “Tukde means to break and hence if anyone speaks in favour of BJP, they are patriots otherwise the rest are desh virodhi. This was the reason that they called farmers ‘Khalistanis’…Hence, it is a step to break the nation…so I used this term for them only. BJP has a school of thought to get votes of a section of society…which is an effort to divide the country..but a country is prosperous if people of all religions are happy.”
Talking about BJP’s allegations against the protestors, Sukhbir said, “If a section of society is unhappy with them, why are they going to that area to talk about farm laws? This is what BJP is doing and hence is creating an environment of clashes…they should rather go to the PM and tell him about the sentiments of people of Punjab.”
‘SAD will not ally with BJP as of now’
Asked whether his party will resume its alliance with BJP if the demands of farmers are met, he said, “Not as of now…BJP backstabbed not only us but all their alliance partners. They did not fulfill the alliance dharma with us and hence we broke ties with them based on principles. So no question arises of doing alliance with them. We are a party representing farmers and they did not even consult us for the laws which they passed in Parliament and now a nationwide agitation against these laws has happened.”
Talking about the Centre’s stand on amendments to farm laws rather than taking them back even after a month-long agitation at Delhi borders, he said, “Centre must decide whether they want to keep their government in Delhi or kisans in Delhi.”
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