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A Thaw in the Frost?: Sidhu Avoids Question on Amarinder's Remark on Farm Protests

Navjot Sindhu was recently made Congress's Punjab chief after days of feuding with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. (Twitter)

Navjot Sindhu was recently made Congress's Punjab chief after days of feuding with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. (Twitter)

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had recently asked farmers to lift dharans in Punjab and instead focus on protests in Haryana and Delhi.

Avoiding any direct attacks on his own government at his first press conference after being appointed to the top post, the Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday trained his guns on the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) instead terming them the ‘architects’ of the three central farm laws.

Sidhu alleged that the three central farm laws were nothing but a ‘xerox’ copy of the contract farming laws introduced in 2013 by the previous SAD BJP government in Punjab Vidhan sabha. Those contentious laws amid stiff opposition had been put on hold, he claimed.

Accompanied by his four working presidents, Sidhu, who has been up in arms with the Captain Amarinder Singh government and has publicly voiced his criticism of his party’s governacnce in the state over various issues, on Wednesday trained his guns solely at the SAD.

He played out video statements of Badals claiming that they had done a U-turn only after the farmers started protesting against the farm laws. “They were the ones who welcomed the laws first and then sensing mood on the ground took a U-turn. The BJP and SAD are two sides of the same coin. The breakup of the alliance was smoke screen. They were one and they will be one once again after the elections”, he claimed.

Elaborating on the two legislations, Sidhu alleged that on several counts they were similar. “Be it the dispute over settlement, farm services, sale of agriculture produce, jurisdiction of settlement between buyer and farmer, imposing penalties, most of the clauses in the central farm.  Laws have been copied or provided to the BJP by SAD as it was part of the NDA”, said the PPCc chief.

Interestingly,  Sidhu avoided any questions on the functioning of the Congress government and even refused to comment on the recent statement by Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh asking the farmers to lift their dharans in Punjab and instead focus on protests in Haryana and Delhi.

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first published:September 15, 2021, 16:47 IST