12 October 2020, Chandigarh, IN: Asserting that convening the Vidhan Sabha session to negate the Centre’s Farm Laws was his government’s prerogative, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had neither the moral right nor any political standing to dictate terms to him or his government in the matter.
It was ludicrous that the party which had boycotted the last Vidhan Sabha session to avoid voting for the resolution against the Farm Laws was now so desperate about convening the next session to reject those very legislations, the Chief Minister said, reacting to SAD’s ultimatum and threat to him. He termed the Shiromani Akali Dal’s ultimatum and threat of gherao on the issue as yet another example of the shocking double standards of the Badals who had brazenly backstabbed the farmers on the issue.
Captain Amarinder said he did not need the Akalis’ advice or ultimatums to do the right thing for the farmers, whom SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and former union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal had virtually thrown to the corporate wolves through active collusion with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He and his government were committed to do everything in their power to save the farmers from the consequences of the Badals’ sins, he said, adding that the farming community did not need the Akalis to fight their battles, especially when the problem was of the SAD’s making.
The Chief Minister dismissed the Akali threats as nothing more than a desperate bid by the Badals to get back into the good books of Punjab’s farmers to ensure their own political careers, which stood at the brink of extinction due to their anti-people and anti-farmer actions. On the SAD’s demand that the Centre should fix MSP as per the Swaminathan Formula, Captain Amarinder mocked the Akalis’ sudden recollection of the Swaminathan Committee suggestions, which they had not once mentioned in the past 6 years. “How many times in all these years did Harsimrat bring up the Swaminathan Committee in the Union Cabinet while she was a minister? When was the last time Sukhbir even think of the Swaminathan formula?” quipped the Chief Minister.
Captain Amarinder also rejected SAD’s ultimatum for sacking State SC Welfare minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot in the alleged scholarship scam, in which a committee of 3 IAS officers and even the Chief Secretary had given him a clean chit. “I am not going to take action to suit your whims and fancies,” he told the Badals, adding that unlike them, he did not believe in taking arbitrary actions against people based on unsubstantiated allegations and frivolous demands.
As far as the Kartarpur Corridor was concerned, the Chief Minister said his government was also in favour of its opening but it was up to the central government to take a decision based on assessment of security perception and the Covid situation.
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