SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday appealed to Punjabis to support the 'Bharat Bandh' on December 8 called by farmer unions against the new farm laws. Badal also said his party would work assiduously alongside the peasantry to ensure repeal of the new agri-marketing laws.
Stating that "the fight for justice" had now become a fight of the 'annadaata' (someone who provides food) against the central government, the Shiromani Akali Dal chief said, "I am confident that the mass agitation will force the Centre to 'bow down' before the demands of farmers." In a statement here, Badal said it was unfortunate that the central government was "dragging its feet" and "deliberately delaying" in taking a decision on the demands of the farmer organisations. He said farmers had been protesting against the Centre's three farm laws for the last three months and were now holding a sit-in at the Delhi borders for the past 11 days.
"Besides elderly, women and children are part of the protest. It is extremely unfortunate that the Centre has refused to listen to the voice of the 'annadaata' and is making them suffer in the biting cold out in the open," he said. Asking the Centre to make an "immediate course correction", Badal said it was not right on its part to "forcibly" impose the three agri-marketing laws on farmers. "The central government did not discuss the provisions of the laws with farmers and now when the farmers have made it clear that the laws are not acceptable to them, the government should not stand on false pride and should repeal them immediately," he said.
Badal also took note of the fact that even the international community was perturbed at the "intransigent" attitude of the central government. He said world over the right of the farmers to peaceful protest had been lauded and everyone had stressed the need to ensure the human rights of the protesters were protected. Badal said even the United Nations had upheld the right of people to demonstrate peacefully. He said keeping all these issues in mind, the central government should accept the demands of the farmer organisations and repeal the three agricultural laws with immediate effect.