Over a year after severing ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party and walking out of the NDA government over the passage of the three contentious farm laws, the Shiromani Akali Dal has said that there was no question of realigning with the saffron party now that the legislation have been repealed. Speaking exclusively to FinancialExpress.com, former MSME minister and senior Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that the BJP cannot wash away the wounds left behind by withdrawing the legislation.
The Shiromani Akali Dal broke its 24-year-old alliance with the BJP and walked out of the NDA over what it termed as the “black laws”. However, despite the Modi government announcing a major climbdown ceding to the protesting farmers, the SAD has said that it will not reunite with the saffron party.
“Not just once, but three-four times I begged that don’t do it (bring the farm laws). If they had listened to us, the 700 farmers who have lost their lives in this one year would have been alive,” Badal said.
“The farm laws have done a lot of damage. The scars are deep… being called terrorists, being called parijeevi (parasite), by being called Khalistani, the day they were beaten up with rods, the way UAPA cases were put on them. What all have these people not done in the last one year? You cannot just wash it away because you have taken back the laws. Like I said, the scars are deep, the wounds are raw, and it will take a long time to heal. There is no question of Shiromani Akali Dal going back to the BJP,” she added.
The former Union minister also alleged that the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party “aided the BJP” in the passage of the three farm laws in the Parliament by walking out and reducing the numbers in the House so that the bills could be passed easily, and accused them of political posturing only to reap electoral gains.
Earlier this month, farmers ended their year-long protest against the farm laws and other issues including a legal guarantee of MSP. After repealing the agri laws in the Parliament, the Centre agreed to form a committee to decide the MSP issue and also drop all police cases against farmers.
The alliance between SAD and BJP, formed just after the parliamentary elections of 1996, had increasingly seemed untenable as the former was facing immense pressure from its main vote base, the farmers, to completely cut ties with the BJP.
The party was on the backfoot, especially with the ruling Congress party and the opposition Aam Aadmi Party highlighting the Badal family’s so-called reluctance to quit the alliance with the BJP.