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Akali Dal asks all parties to jointly fight for farmers’ cause

Gearing up: Sukhbir Singh Badal addressing a gathering of party workers and farmers in Ropar district on Sunday.  

A day after pulling out of the National Democratic Alliance, the Shiromani Akali Dal on Sunday called upon all political parties and organisations to close ranks for a united fight to protect the interests of farmers, farm labour and farm produce traders in the country, especially in Punjab.

“We are ready to join or follow any struggle in the overall interests of the farmers, farm labour, Arhatiyas and other farm produce traders,” said Sukhbir Singh Badal, president, Shiromani Akali Dal, addressing a rally in Ropar. He also addressed rallies in Hoshiarpur and Phagwara.

 

“Anything like the new farm Bills, which increase the uncertainty over the fate of the farmers’ produce can have disastrous implications not only for the economy but also for social stability. The farmers’ plight affects the entire economy. Therefore what we are fighting for is to protect the national interests,” he said.

‘Peaceful struggle’

“We must not flinch from the ideals of keeping our struggle for people’s rights absolutely peaceful and democratic. I must caution against attempts to defame our struggle by disturbing peace but that should only strengthen our resolve to safeguard the age-old values of Punjabi fraternity and the path of peaceful democratic struggle,” said Mr. Badal.

Also read: After Arun Jaitley, none in BJP understands psyche of Punjab: SAD MP Naresh Gujral

He asked Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to bring an ordinance to declare the whole State a Mandi (Principal Marketing Yard) to save farmers from the Centre’s agriculture sector laws.

‘Kisan March’

Mr. Badal said the party would hold ‘Kisan March’ on October 1, which would commence from all three religious ‘Takht Sahibs’ in Punjab and culminate at Mohali. “We will submit a memorandum to Punjab Governor for the President of India, urging him not to sign the three anti-farmer Bills and send back to Parliament for reconsideration,” he said.

Mr. Badal said, “The SAD is essentially a farmers party. The BJP leadership was not ready to heed our repeated pleas against the anti-farmer Bills. Nor were they listening to our objections to the exclusion of Punjabi as official language in Jammu and Kashmir. After that, it was meaningless to stay on.”

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Printable version | Nov 1, 2020 1:11:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/akali-dal-asks-all-parties-to-jointly-fight-for-farmers-cause/article32709352.ece

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