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SAD, AAP protest in Punjab, Delhi in support of farmers

To express solidarity with farmers amid their ongoing agitation against the three farm laws enacted a year ago on September 17, members of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday hit the streets in Punjab and Delhi.

In Delhi, SAD members including party president Sukhbir Singh Badal and former Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, along with over 15 other leaders, were detained by the Delhi police as they held a protest march from Gurdwara Rakabganj to the Parliament House to mark one year of the passage of the three laws. The leaders and workers were detained allegedly for violating COVID-19 guidelines and were later released.

“We will fight relentlessly to ensure the repeal of the three agriculture Acts. I ensure Punjabis that the Acts would not be implemented in Punjab if the SAD- BSP alliance formed the government in the State,” Mr. Badal said. “We demand immediate repeal of the three agriculture laws, besides legal guarantee for assured procurement of major crops on Minimum Support Price,” he said.

“The SAD had resigned from the Union Cabinet and even quit the NDA government in solidarity with farmers. The truth was that the three black laws were first introduced in Parliament by the previous Manmohan Singh-led Congress government and the government had to beat a hasty retreat in the face of opposition. The Congress in Punjab subsequently even amended the APMC Act to bring in private ‘mandis’ and the same was promised nationwide in the 2019 party manifesto of the Congress party,” he said.

Mr. Badal said the SAD was the single opposition party which had opposed the three farm Bills inside the Parliament. The Congress and the AAP chose to stage a walkout rather than oppose the three Bills, said Mr. Badal.

Slams Kejriwal

Hitting out at the AAP, Mr. Badal accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of adopting “double standards” on all issues surrounding Punjab, including the Sutlej-Yamuna Link canal, opposing the running of thermal plants of the State etc.

Ms. Harsimrat Badal cautioned that in case the ruling NDA government led by the BJP did not repeal the farm laws then it would not only lose the coming Assembly elections in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh but also the 2024 general elections.

In Punjab, the AAP held candle marches in different parts to offer homage to farmers who have lost their lives during the ongoing agitation. AAP MLA and party’s farmer wing president Kultar Singh Sandhwa said the party leaders and volunteers held candle marches with black bands on their arms in Mansa, Bathinda, Sangrur, Barnala, Pathankot, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Hoshiarpur districts.

“We demand immediate repeal of all the three farm laws,” he said.

Terming the protest held by the Akali Dal a ‘drama’, Mr. Sandhwa said it was “the Badal family” that had contributed to enacting the farm laws.

Mr. Sandhwa said that along with the BJP and the SAD, the ruling Congress government in Punjab was equally responsible for the destruction of agriculture and allied classes.


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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 3:25:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sad-aap-protest-in-punjab-delhi-in-support-of-farmers/article36528168.ece

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