Ready to Make Any Sacrifice for Farmers, Decision on NDA Ties Later: Sukhbir after Lok Sabha Passes Farm Bills
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said the party's future course of action and whether to stay in the NDA or not will be decided in a party meeting later. (Image credit: ANI Twitter)
Hours after party leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from the Union Cabinet in protest against three farm sectors bills passed by the Lok Sabha, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) said on Thursday that it will decide on whether to remain in the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) or not at a later date.
The Lok Sabha passed two of the bills by voice vote on Thursday. Another bill related to the farm sector, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, was passed on Tuesday. These three bills will replace ordinances promulgated by the government earlier.
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal told reporters outside Parliament that his party is ready to make any sacrifice for farmers and their welfare. "The party's future course of action and whether to stay in the NDA or not will be decided in a party meeting later," he said.
Kaur, who submitted her resignation to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), said, "I don't want to be part of a government which brought farm sector bills without addressing apprehensions of farmers."
Her resignation came soon after her Singh, her husband, strongly opposed the bills in the Lok Sabha, saying they will "destroy" the agriculture sector in Punjab.
In a four-page resignation letter addressed to the PM, Kaur said, “My decision symbolises my party’s vision, its glorious legacy and its commitment to go to any extent to safeguard the interests of the farmers.”
In his speech during a discussion on two of the farm bills — the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill — in Lok Sabha, Singh said the proposed laws will "destroy" the 50 years of hard work put in by successive Punjab governments and farmers to build the agriculture sector.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh dubbed Kaur's decision to quit the Cabinet as part of the "long chain of theatrics" being enacted by the SAD which has still not quit the ruling NDA despite the slap on its face by the central government over the farm bills.
Questioning SAD's decision to continue to remain a part of the NDA coalition at the Centre, the chief minister said even Kaur's resignation was nothing more than a gimmick to befool the farmers of Punjab. "But they (the Akalis) will not succeed in misleading the farmers," he said, calling it a case of "too little, too late".
(With inputs from PTI)