Chandigarh, September 15
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said the presentation of the farm ordinances in Parliament yesterday by the Centre had totally exposed the farce of Shiromani Akali Dal’s pretense of protecting the interests of the farmers of the state.
With the BJP-led NDA government going ahead with laying the ordinances on the table of the House on the very first day of the Parliament session, instead of accepting SAD’s so-called plea to defer the same, the Akali charade on the issue had been laid bare, said the Chief Minister.
The fact that Sukhbir Singh Badal had stayed away from the House on Monday, when the ordinances were presented for legislation, showed that the entire drama of seeking postponement of their enactment was played out by the SAD president to appease the farmer organisations, which have been up in arms against the ordinances, Captain Amarinder said.
There is clearly a conspiracy to undermine the farmers’ interests and that of the states, which are Constitutionally mandated to be responsible for Agriculture, said the Chief Minister, asking “why else would Sukhbir conveniently remain away from Parliament on the opening day itself?” The SAD president knew all along that the ordinances, which had the explicit stamp of Akali approval, would be brought to the House for legislation, he added.
This is what the Akalis had done in the Vidhan Sabha during the 1-day session too, he pointed out, adding that even then the SAD had chosen not to attend to avoid having to vote the anti-ordinances resolution. Captain Amarinder said the SAD, which had endorsed the anti-farmer and anti-federal ordinances as part of the ruling coalition at the Centre, was now indulging in the drama of seeking clarifications and amendments to the ordinances for the consumption of the farmer organisations and unions, which had seen through their gimmickry.
“You think the people of Punjab, and the farmers, are fools? They are not going to be taken in by your theatrics and pretensions of shedding crocodile tears,” the Chief Minister said to Sukhbir. These pathetic attempts to woo the farmer vote-bank ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections would backfire on the Akalis, as they had done in 2017, he added.
“You cannot take a U-turn and change your stance on every major issue of Punjab’s interest as an after-thought and expect people to believe that you are sincere,” said Captain Amarinder, citing the double standards of the Akalis on the CAA, which also they had supported as part of the central government but had later indulged in public drama of opposing the controversial unconstitutional legislation.
From selling Punjab’s water rights by clearing the SYL to now selling off the rights and welfare of the farmers, who have fed the nation for decades, SAD has done nothing but bartered away the state’s interests to promote their petty political interests through the years, the Chief Minister said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has ridiculed the statements of Harpal Singh Cheema and Aman Arora alleging Congress-SAD/BJP connivance in the farm ordinances, asking the AAP leaders to check their facts before shooting their mouths off. In its haste to criticise the state government, AAP has become habituated of making unsubstantiated statements without a grain of truth in them, he said.
AAP has been making a mockery of itself in Punjab, said Captain Amarinder, citing the recent utterances of the party leaders on a host of issues, including Covid. Their latest remarks accusing him (Captain Amarinder) of being hand in glove with SAD-BJP were not only atrocious but clearly aimed at misleading the people of Punjab, said the Chief Minister, adding that the party seems to be bent on spreading misinformation in the state to further its own petty interests.