Former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal returns Padma Vibhushan to protest ‘betrayal of farmers’ by Centre

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Updated: December 03, 2020 3:22 PM

The farmers have been protesting against three farm laws saying they will destroy state-run mandis where they sell their produce. 

Prakash Singh Badal

Parkash Singh Badal returns Padma Vibhushan: Former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has returned Padma Vibhushan to protest “the betrayal of the farmers by govt of India”. In a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, Prakash Singh Badal said: “I write this letter to return the Padam Vibhushan award in protest against the betrayal of the farmers by the government of India and against the shocking indifference and contempt with which the govt is treating the ongoing peaceful and democratic agitation against the Farm Acts.”

The former chief minister wrote that when the Centre had brought Ordinances, assurances were given to Akali Dal that the farmers’ apprehensions would be addressed to their satisfaction at the time of converting them into laws. “Accordingly, I even appealed to the farmers to trust the Government’s word. But I was shocked when the government simply went back on its word,” Badal said.

Badal was conferred with the award in March 2015. Thousands of farmers from Punjab have been protesting against three farm laws saying they will destroy state-run mandis where they sell their produce. The development comes even as the leaders of farmer unions are holding talks with Centre to resolve the issues on farm laws. The recent farm laws triggered massive protests in Punjab, which is the biggest beneficiary of MSP system.

The Akali Dal was earlier part of the central government but pulled out of the Narendra Modi Cabinet in Centre as the protests intensified in Punjab. The Akali Dal has been pressing the Centre to accept the farmers demand and assure guaranteed MSP.

 

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