Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday slammed the BJP-led Centre, accusing it of trying to thrust the "black laws" upon farmers the way it "imposed" demonetisation and GST in the past. Badal also hit out at the central government for allegedly trying to project the protesting farmers as "anti-national" and demanded that the Centre repeal the new farm laws.
"Farmers want these laws should be repealed. If farmers do not want these laws, why are you forcing upon them?" he asked. "This policy of forcing upon like earlier they (Centre) forced upon demonetization and GST (goods and services tax), and now they want whatever decision they make while sitting in offices should be implemented forcibly," Badal told the media on Thursday evening.
"This is a democratic country. If farmers do not want it (laws). You have seen all the farmers' organizations have joined hands. Bharat Bandh was observed. Farmers do not want these laws and then why they are keeping it (laws). I do not understand it," the SAD chief said. He alleged that it has become the attitude of the government to "confront and suppress" the voice. "You cannot suppress (voice) in a democracy. They are our countrymen," he said.
"It is bad that the Centre is trying to project farmers as anti-national. If you are saying they are anti-national then why did you hold meetings with them. Because now your meeting has failed, you termed them anti-national," he alleged. "It has been an attempt of the central government that whosoever does not agree with it, be it a political party or a section of people, they try to project them as anti-national. These farmers are not anti-national," he said.
Badal condemned the union government for not acceding to farmers' demand of repealing the new agri legislations. "The farmers do not want the black laws framed by Modi sahib (Prime Minister Narendra Modi). Democracy means that it is the duty of the government that it should not implement those things which the public do not want," he said.
Farmers were being shown as "extremists" and "Khalistanis", said Badal, adding that they were also being shown having been associated with a particular religion. "Do not repeat Congress' blunders of divide and rule. Do nothing that weakens national unity or disturbs peace and communal harmony for whichPunjabis, specially the SAD, have made supreme sacrifices," said a resolution of the party's core committee that met here.
Harcharan Bains, principal advisor to Badal, said the SAD will observe the centenary of the party as "Sangharsh Samarpan Divas", with focus on farmers' interests and justice for them.