Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 17
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday said Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s decision to quit the Union Cabinet was another in the long chain of theatrics being enacted by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
He said despite the “slap on their face” by the Central government over the Farm Bills, SAD has not quit the ruling coalition.
Questioning SAD’s decision to continue to remain a part of the BJP-led NDA coalition at the Centre, the Amarinder said even Harsimrat’s resignation was nothing more than a “gimmick” to “befool the farmers of Punjab”.
“But they (the Akalis) will not succeed in misleading the farmer organisations,” he said, calling it a case of ‘too little, too late.’
Harsimrat’s resignation from the Union Cabinet has come too late to be of any help to Punjab and its farmers, said the Chief Minister.
Had SAD taken a stand earlier and supported the state government against the ordinances, the situation might not even have come to such a pass, and the Centre might have thought 10 times before introducing the ordinances and pushing the anti-farmer legislations in Parliament, he added.
Even now, the only reason for the SAD’s decision to pull their sole minister out of the Union Cabinet was motivated not by any concern for the farmers but to save their political fortunes, and the fizzling political careers of the Badals, who had lost all credibility in the eyes of Punjab’s people, said Amarinder.
It was the angst of the farmers and the pressure mounted by the state’s farmer organisations, which were up in arms against the vicious ordinances since they were brought in by the Government of India, that had compelled the Badals to change their stance on the ordinances, he said.
“Did Sukhbir and Harsimrat and their coterie not see the damage the legislations would do to Punjab’s agriculture and economy all this time? Or were they so blinded by their greed for power that they deliberately chose to close their eyes to the danger posed by the ordinances?” asked Captain Amarinder.
Now that their game-plan had been completely exposed, the Akalis were left with no option but to take a public stand against the farm Bills to protect their electoral vote-bank in Punjab, the senior Congress leader quipped, asserting that the people of the state had rejected them earlier and will reject them again.