‘Political Decision’: BJP Plays Down Harsimrat Kaur’s Resignation as Farm Bills Trigger Rare Rift With Akali Dal
File photo of Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur attending a press conference with party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal. (PTI)
Maintaining that the Akali Dal is still a part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma said Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s resignation from the Union cabinet was a “political decision”.
- News18.com Chandigarh
- Last Updated: September 18, 2020, 17:13 IST
- FOLLOW US ON:
Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma on Friday dubbed the resignation of Harsimrat Kaur Badal from the Union cabinet as a "political decision" of the Shiromani Akali Dal and asserted that it is a part of the National Democratic Alliance.
Food Processing Industries Minister Badal had resigned on Thursday in protest against three farm sector bills. "I have resigned from Union Cabinet in protest against anti-farmer ordinances and legislation. Proud to stand with farmers as their daughter and sister," she had tweeted.
Speaking to media personnel, Sharma said the three bills brought by the BJP-led Centre are in the interest of the farming community. "Akali Dal is a part of the NDA but it is a separate political outfit. They have taken this decision because of some political reasons. We have an alliance (SAD-BJP) but both are different political outfits. They (SAD) have taken a political decision," said Sharma.
On continuation of alliance between both the parties, Sharma said they (Akalis) had themselves said they are part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal had said in Delhi on Thursday that his party's future course of action and whether to stay in the BJP-led alliance or not will be decided in a party meeting later.
Sharma said these three bills would "surely play an important role in boosting farm income". The Punjab BJP president said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured that the minimum support price and government procurement of crops would continue.
Taking on the Congress, Sharma said the ruling party in Punjab was trying to "mislead" farmers over the farm bills issue in order to "divert attention from the burning issues like liquor mafia, scholarship scam, corruption and failure to keep its poll promises".
Harsimrat Kaur’s resignation was accepted by President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday morning and Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar was assigned the additional charge of her ministry.
"The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has accepted the resignation of Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal from the Union Council of Ministers, with immediate effect, under clause (2) of Article 75 of the Constitution," said a communique issued on Friday.