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BJP-led government becoming increasingly autocratic, says Akali Dal chief

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) party President Sukhbir Singh Badal (C) along with SAD leaders and workers, speaks in support of farmers during a protest against the recent agricultural reforms, in Amritsar on December 14, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Hitting out at the BJP against the backdrop of the farmers’ agitation, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday said that during the present BJP-led government at the Centre, the country had seen a dangerous slide into increasingly autocratic and unitary system with growing centralisation of power in a few hands.

Mr. Badal said there was a need for a truly federal structure in the country with genuine political, economic and executive autonomy to the States. “This alone is the ultimate and durable guarantee against the social, political and economic turmoil which the country has been witnessing in recent years,” he told journalists in Amritsar.

Mr. Badal said the alarming crisis following the passage of three anti-farmer Acts would not have arisen if the government had followed a federal approach through consultation, conciliation and consensus among States.

“The farmers’ crisis cannot be delinked from the ill-advised unitary and dictatorial tendencies in the country. The problem could have been averted through an approach based on federal principles,” he said.

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He said his party would work in tandem with like-minded regional and national parties to make India a genuine federal country. Referring to the on-going agitation of the farmers, Mr. Badal said the Akali Dal fully backed the farmers’ demand for “total revocation of the farm Acts.”

‘Panthic ideals’

Releasing a five-point mission statement of the SAD on the centenary anniversary of the party, Mr. Badal described the commitment to ‘Panthic’ ideals and values as the top priority of his party.

Mr. Badal expressed grave concern over threats to the country’s secular character posed by the growing trends towards communal and political violence. The SAD gave top priority to treating every citizen with respect and dignity as an equal — this, he said was necessary for fighting communalism and for promoting “peace and communal harmony in the country.”

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 9:41:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bjp-led-government-becoming-increasingly-autocratic-says-akali-dal-chief/article33328929.ece

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