The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), was the BJP’s oldest ally before it quit the alliance over centre’s refusal to assure procurement of crops on minimum support price, and exclusion of Punjabi as an official language in Jammu and Kashmir.
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, stressing that the new controversial farm bills, passed last week, can have disastrous implications on the national economy, called upon all opposition parties to close ranks for a united fight to save the country’s farmers.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), was the BJP’s oldest ally before it quit the alliance over centre’s refusal to assure procurement of crops on minimum support price, and exclusion of Punjabi as an official language in Jammu and Kashmir. SAD is the third major regional party to pull out from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) after the Shiv Sena and the Telugu Desam Party.
“The farmers’ economic plight affects the entire economy. Anything like the new farm bills, which increases the uncertainty about the fate of farmers’ produce can have disastrous implication for the economy and social stability of the country. Therefore, what we are fighting for is to protect the country’s wider national interests,” the Akali Dal supremo said at gatherings of party workers and farmers at Ropar, Hoshiarpur and Phagwara in Punjab.
“We are ready to join or follow any struggle in the overall interests of the farmers, farm labour, aarhatiyas (farm agents) and other farm produce traders,” Mr Badal added.
“I must caution against attempts to defame our struggle by disturbing the peace,” Mr Badal added, reiterating his party’s commitment to preserving peace, communal harmony and fraternity in Punjab.
The call given by the Punjab leader has resonated well with the Shiv Sena and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal.
“We support Mr Badal and SAD’s stand for the farmers. Fighting for farmers is part of Trinamool DNA. In 2006, Mamata Banerjee risked her life on a historic 26 day fast for farmers’ rights. We oppose Farm Bills 2020 as they endanger states’ role, minimum support price, the public distribution system, and procurement,” Derek O’Brien, the Trinamool Congress MP tweeted.
“Shiv Sena appreciates Akali Dal’s decision to break its ties with NDA in the interest of farmers,” Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut posted.
Responding to Derek O’Brien’s tweet, Mr Badal said, “Derek – your stand against the #AgricultureBills in parliament is well known. Appreciate your support.”