Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday said “waiting for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to become Prime Minister to repeal the agriculture Acts as suggested by [Punjab] CM Amarinder Singh amounted to waiting till eternity”.
He was reacting to a statement by Punjab CM Amarinder Singh where he had said that when Rahul Gandhi becomes the Prime Minister, he should scrap the ‘black laws’ brought by the Centre.
“Putting any such condition amounts to shifting the goal post and playing a friendly match to ensure implementation of the agriculture Acts in Punjab,” the SAD president said in a written statement Monday.
Asserting that the CM was “hunting with the hounds and running with the hare”, Sukhbir said: “Like earlier also, the former did not take any action to avert implementation of the agriculture Bills despite knowing about them one year in advance. The statement that Punjabis will now have to wait for Rahul Gandhi to become Prime Minister to repeal the agriculture Acts is unacceptable as everyone knows this might never happen”.
Urging the CM “not to sell of the interests of Punjabis to corporates”, the SAD president said, “It is better you call a special session of the state Assembly to repeal the amendments made by you in the APMC Act in 2017 as well as bring in new legislation to make the entire state a single ‘mandi’. The very fact that you are running away from doing this and indulging in skulduggery with farmers by stating that they will now have to wait for Rahul Gandhi to become Prime Minister before the agriculture Acts will be repealed indicates that you have no intention of revoking the Acts.”
Sukhbir also announced that “the SAD was committed to repealing the agriculture Acts and would do so once its government was formed in the state”.
He said, “In the meantime the party would explore all avenues to get the agriculture Acts repealed.”
Sukhbir asked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi “why he was running away from answering the five questions posed to him“.
He said that he had asked Rahul to “answer these questions on the eve of his sham yatra to Punjab, but he had failed to do so even on the second day of the yatra”.
The SAD chief added: “Try as he might, but Rahul cannot run away from answering these questions as they were also the queries of Punjabis. The farmers and khet-mazdoor of the state want to know why Rahul Gandhi supported the Congress government and allowed it to amend the APMC Act in 2017 whereby private mandis as well as e trading the contract farming was sanctioned in the state.”
He said that “similarly they wanted to know why Rahul had supported the abolition of the ‘mandikaran’ (government procurement system) in 2019”.
Sukhbir said: “Rahul had also raised suspicions about his intentions by leaving the country one day prior to the introduction of the Bills in Parliament and coming back on the same day they were passed besides refusing to pass a whip to direct Congress MPs to oppose the Bills in Parliament.”
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