Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh lashed out at SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday over his "persistent politicisation" of the new farm laws and said his “antics and political tirades” will not help the Akali Dal restore its credibility in Punjab. Meanwhile, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday asked party-ruled states to enact legislations to bypass the three Central farm-related laws that have triggered protests by farmers in some parts of the country.
Congress general secretary in-charge of organisation KC Venugopal said in a statement, "Congress president has advised Congress-ruled states to explore the possibilities to pass laws in their respective states under Article 254(2) of the Constitution which allows the state legislatures to pass a law to negate the anti-agriculture central laws encroaching upon state’s jurisdiction under the Constitution."
On the other hand, Captain Amarinder Singh called the Akali Dal a "mute spectator" when the ordinances were introduced in June. He said, "Instead of apologising to the farmers for supporting the farm ordinances all through and backing the BJP-led union government to the hilt on the issue, the unprincipled Badal couple were trying desperately to shift focus away from their own failure to protect the interests of the farming community."
His comments came a day after Sukhbir Badal termed it a "dark day" for the country as President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the three farm bills being opposed by the Congress and a few other political parties and farmers' organisations, mainly in Punjab and Haryana.
Sukhbir Badal's wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal was a Union minister when the ordinances were promulgated. She resigned from it earlier this month and the Akali Dal quit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance over the pieces of legislation.
These “antics and political tirades” will not help the Akali Dal restore its “lost credibility” in Punjab, whose people, especially the farmers, had completely rejected the “double-speaking” Badals, said the Punjab chief minister.
Punjab's farmers had hoped that having quit the NDA, the Badals would now support the state government wholeheartedly in fighting for their rights, he said.
Any party would have risen above “petty politics” and "persistent politicisation" of the laws to join hands with the state government in putting up a united fight, he said.
But far from doing that, the SAD had chosen to launch a frontal attack on his government, said Singh, adding that this was so clearly a “brazen attempt” to get back their political foothold in the state.
He trashed as “farcical” Sukhbir Badal's statement that "the SAD cannot be a mute witness while the peasantry in the country, especially in Punjab, is being dealt a death blow.”
“Had the SAD not been a mute spectator to the farm ordinances in the first place, things would not have come to such a pass,” he said.
“Did you not remember then that Agriculture is a state subject, which you are now crying yourself hoarse about,” he asked the Akali president.
(With inputs from PTI)