After Leaving BJP-led NDA, Akali Dal Calls For United Opposition to Protect Farmers

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Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) party, President Sukhbir Singh Badal

Clarion India

CHANDIGARH – The new controversial agri bills can have disastrous implications on the national economy, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said calling on all opposition parties to close ranks for a united fight to save the country’s farmers.

“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,”  Badal was quoted by NDTV as saying. He was addressing a gathering of party workers and farmers at Ropar, Hoshiarpur and Phagwara in Punjab.

the SAD was the BJP’s oldest ally before it snapped ties with the National Democratic Alliance on Saturday 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. The SAD is the third major NDA member to pull out of the grouping after the Shiv Sena and the Telugu Desam Party.

Facing opposition from the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab, Badal has called upon all political parties and organisations to close ranks for a united fight to protect the interests of the farmers, farm labour and produce traders in the country.

“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,” he said.

Badal’s call to unite has resonated 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, public distribution system and procurement,” Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien tweeted.

Farmers have been protesting the bills fearing they will end the price support system and drive the entry of private players. They want these bills repealed. The opposition parties have backed the farmers’ demands seeking legislative guarantee for continued government support in procuring farm produce.

 

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