Other States

Parkash Singh Badal returns Padam Vibhushan in protest against ‘betrayal of farmers’

Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal | File   | Photo Credit: AKHILESH KUMAR

Former Punjab Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal patron Parkash Singh Badal has returned his Padma Vibhushan award in protest against what he termed as the “betrayal of farmers” and indifferent attitude adopted by the BJP-led Central government towards the ongoing farmers protest against agriculture laws.

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In a letter addressed to the President on December 2, Mr. Badal wrote “I write this letter to return the Padma Vibhushan award in protest against the betrayal of the farmers by the government of India and against the shocking indifference and contempt with which the government is treating the ongoing peaceful and democratic agitation against farm acts.”

He added: “When the government of India had brought the Ordinances, assurance was given to us that the farmers apprehensions on these Ordinances would be addressed to their satisfaction, when these would be converted to Bills and subsequently into Acts. Accordingly, even I appealed to the farmers to trust the government’s word. But I was shocked when the government simply went back on its word.”

‘Painful moment’

“That was the most painful and embarrassing moment in my long political career. I just cannot put in words the emotional stress which I have been going through since then. I have truly begun to wonder why the government of India has become so heartless, so cynical and so ungrateful towards farmers.”

Also read: Dilli chalo | No breakthrough at farmers’ talks with govt; protests to continue

Urging the President to use his office to get the government to listen to farmers with love, compassion, understanding and above all, with respect that they fully deserved, Mr. Badal wrote “As an optimist, I like to hope that you will win the confidence of these farmers as well as strengthen the secular democratic fabric of our great country.”

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 11:52:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/parkash-singh-badal-returns-padma-vibhushan-award/article33238641.ece

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