Punjab: Terming the statement of Sukhbir Singh Badal, the president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, ”utter buffoonery”, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said that “he was neither spineless nor a traitor like Badals”.

In a statement, Amarinder Singh said in reaction to Sukhbir Badal’s remarks on ED cases against his family: “The Badals, who were totally cornered over their betrayal of the farmers, had clearly pressed all the panic buttons in their desperation to cover up their brazen treachery.”

“Such is their level of despair that Sukhbir even stooped to undermining the Pakistani threat to the security of Punjab and the nation,” he said.

“Have you and your Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) become so power-hungry that you have even closed your eyes to the threat posed by the Pakistanis to our security? Are you saying that all those arms, ammunition and drones our brave security forces have captured along the Punjab border are no danger?” Singh asked, according to NDTV report, while adding that it seemed that Sukhbir Singh Badal had totally ”lost” it.

The Chief Minister said that there was no new ED case against him, that he “should suddenly start trembling”.

Earlier on Saturday, the SAD President said that the Amarinder Singh, who met the BJP leaders over farmer issues, had already surrendered to the BJP blackmail on the farmers’ dispute and “he is now resorting to brave and foul words merely to cover up his cowardice and panic.”

Pertinently, anger against the GoI has been simmering since the month of September when the parliament of India passed three farm laws. From last many days, thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have been marching toward the New Delhi and are nearing the borders.

After failing to garner support from their respective state governments, the farmers have decided to mount pressure on the GoI, due to which they are coming to Delhi.

In UP and Haryana, BJP led governments have failed to convince farmers, however, governments of Rajasthan and Punjab have extended full support to their agitation.

Farmers want GoI to either withdraw the three legislations or guarantee them the minimum support price (MSP) for their crops by introducing a new law.

Gurnam Singh Chaduni is leading the protestors from Haryana. Gurnam had contested the 2019 Assembly elections from Ladwa constituency in Kurukshetra district, but got only 1,307 votes. However, he was quite active in raising farmers’ issues and led several protests across the state.

Apart from Gurnam, several national and regional farm unions, comprising many leaders, have joined hands under the umbrella banner of Samyukt Kisan Morcha.

As farmers do not accept the three new legislations — The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation); The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance; and Farm Services and The Essential Commodities (Amendment), they believe the laws will open agricultural sale and marketing outside the notified Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis for farmers, remove the barriers to inter-state trade, and provide a framework for electronic trading of agricultural produce.

Since the state governments will not be able to collect market fee, cess or levy for trade outside the APMC markets, farmers believe the laws will gradually end the mandi system and leave farmers at the mercy of corporates.

They are also of the opinion that dismantling the mandi system will bring an end to the assured procurement of their crops at MSP. Similarly, farmers believe the price assurance legislation may offer protection to farmers against price exploitation, but will not prescribe the mechanism for price fixation.

Farmers are demanding the government guarantee MSP in writing, or else the free hand given to private corporate houses will lead to their exploitation.

 

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