Chandigarh (India) September 27 (ANI): Making his first public speech after breaking alliance with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Saturday night, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday called upon all political parties to close ranks for a united fight to protect the interests of the farmers, farm labourers and farm-produce traders in the country, especially in Punjab.
"If we stand united, we will force the Government of India to bow before the farmers and repeal the three Bills, passed in Parliament with sheer stubbornness after muzzling our voice. We are ready to join or follow any struggle in the overall interest of the farmers, farm labourers, arhatiyas (intermediaries) and other farm-produce traders," said Badal.
The SAD president addressed large gatherings of party workers and farmers at Ropar, Hoshiarpur and Phagwara on Sunday to mobilise them for October 1 Kisan March, which would commence from all three Takht Sahibs in Punjab and culminate in Mohali.
He again advised Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to issue an Ordinance to declare the whole state a mandi (principal marketing yard) to save farmers from the "black laws".
"Anything like the new farm Bills, which increase the uncertainty over the fate of the farmers, can have disastrous implications, not only for the economy but also for the social stability in the country," he said, reiterating his party's commitment to preserving peace, communal harmony and fraternity in Punjab at all costs.
"We must not flinch from the ideals of keeping our struggle for people's rights absolutely peaceful and democratic," he said cautioning against any attempt to defame the struggle by disturbing the peace.
Later, talking to media persons, Badal said SAD is essentially a farmers' party. "The BJP leadership wasn't ready to heed our repeated pleas against the anti-farmer bills. Nor were they listening to our objections to the exclusion of Punjabi as an official language in Jammu and Kashmir. After that, it was meaningless to stay on. Therefore, the party's representative in Union Cabinet, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, resigned and then after consulting with people, including party workers and leaders, we decided to pull out of the alliance."
He even targeted Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, saying that the Bills contain exactly what the Congress party's 2017 Vidhan Sabha and 2019 Lok Sabha election manifestos promised.
"While Amarinder Singh went back on all other promises, he fulfilled the only clause which was against the farmers and pro-corporate sharks," alleged Badal, asking the chief minister to call a special session of Assembly and repeal the state's APMC Act.
The SAD is also planning to submit a memorandum to the Punjab governor, addressed to the President of India, against the three Bills for reconsideration, after the Kishan March on October 1. (ANI)