Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday attacked the Centre and Shiromani Akali Dal over the the contentious farm laws. Continuing his attack on the opposition party Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Sidhu alleged that the Akali Dal laid foundation of three farm laws.
Sidhu putting the blame on SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal alleged that Badal cited the three farm ordinances as “pro farmer” and “withdrew” when the Punjab government passed a resolution demanding unconditional withdrawal of the three laws during the budget session of the state assembly in March.
Sidhu alleged that Badal “favoured the ordinances, opposed resolution arguing that there was nothing wrong in ordinance, describing it as pro-farmer”.
"During all-party meeting, resolution on 10 farm laws was passed. Sukhbir Singh Badal withdrew. As per Minutes of Meeting, 'he favoured the ordinances, opposed resolution arguing that there was nothing wrong in ordinance, describing it as pro-farmers'," Sidhu was quoted as saying by news agency ANI at a press briefing.
Praising Congress, Sidhu said, it was his party that brought MSP, mandi, National Food Security Act. "The Public Distribution System (PDS) was also brought by the Congress," he added.
Sidhu also slammed the Badals calling them “neeti nirmata” of Centre’s three farm laws, alleging that these laws were similar to the Punjab Contract Farming Act, 2013, that was passed by the BJP-SAD government in March of 2013, after being tabled in the assembly by then chief minister Prakash Singh Badal of SAD.
Sidhu’s allegations come as SAD is gearing up to observe September 17 as a ‘black day’ on the completion of one year of the enactment of the three laws to protest against the laws.
Notably, Akali Dal members had created an uproar in the assembly when chief minister Amarinder Singh was replying to the Governor's address on the day the resolution was passed in the House in early March.
Meanwhile, on September 10, farmer bodies protesting the Centre's agriculture laws appealed to political parties to suspend their election campaign till the schedule for the Punjab Assembly polls is out so that the focus remains on their agitation.
Farmer leader Balbir Singh Rajewal, who presided over the meeting, said Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders said they will consult their party leadership before announcing their decision.