Days after resigning from the Union Cabinet, SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Monday said farmers in Punjab are forced to sell cotton below the MSP because of a lack of procurement by Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), a central government agency. On the same day, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal led a delegation to President Ram Nath Kovind and urged him to not give his consent to the “anti-farmer bills passed in Parliament by force." “We urged him to stand by the beleaguered farmers, farm and mandi labourers, Dalits in their hour of need. We requested him to send back those bills to Parliament for reconsideration so that neither the hasty decisions taken in a fleeting moment of stubbornness leave permanent scars on the nation’s psyche nor inflict a deep wound on the long-term vital interests of farmers and labourers," Sukhbir Badal told reporters after submitting the memorandum.
Speaking against the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, Sukhbir Badal had announced in Lok Sabha last week that his wife and SAD’s lone representative in the Union Cabinet Harsimrat Badal would resign. Harsimrat Badal resigned Thursday amidst a discussion on the farm bills in Lok Sabha, which were passed in the lower house the same day with a voice vote. The bills were passed in Rajya Sabha on Sunday.
Continuing with her party’s demand for ensuring MSP to farmers, Harsimrat Badal in a tweet on Monday raised the issue of “distress sale" of cotton by farmers and assured them the support of Akali Dal in their struggle. “Condemnable how despite the provision of minimum support price (MSP) for cotton, Punjab farmers are forced to go in for distress sale far below that price due to lack of Cotton Corporation of India procurement," she said.
Attacking Congress government in Punjab, she said it failed to take this up with the Cotton Corporation of India.