The SAD snapped ties with the NDA on Saturday and termed the farm bills brought by the Centre as “lethal and disastrous” for the already beleaguered farmers.
Sukhbir Singh Badal (IE Photo)
There has been a marked shift in the manner in which the National Democratic Alliance has been run ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power at the Centre with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the helm of affairs, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal said, asserting that the alliance had remained only on paper.
“NDA is just in name. There is nothing in the NDA. No discussion, no planning, no meetings. I don’t remember a day in last 10 years when the Prime Minister called NDA meeting for lunch to discuss what they have in mind,” Badal told The Indian Express a day after it quit the NDA expressing its anguish over the passage of three contentious farm bills which the Opposition has dubbed anti-farmer.
Badal Junior said that the Akalis, unlike the BJP, had treated its partner in Punjab with far more respect when it was in power in the state. “Alliances should be run the way my father Parkash Singh Badal did….We are the majority partner (in the state) and they are minority partner. Despite that, we took them into confidence for everything,” Badal said.
The SAD snapped ties with the National Democratic Alliance on Saturday, citing the Centre’s “refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of farmers crops on MSP and its continued insensitivity to Punjabi and Sikh issues”.
Quitting the alliance just days after its lone minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal walked out of the central government, the SAD said it will continue to stand by its core principles of peace, communal harmony and guarding the interest of Punjab and Punjabi in general, and Sikhs and farmers in particular.
The SAD chief said the decision to exit the NDA was taken in consultation with the people of Punjab, especially party workers and farmers. He added that the Bills on agricultural marketing brought by the BJP-led government were “lethal and disastrous” for the already beleaguered farmers.
He also accused the Modi government of listening to it in honouring the sentiments of farmers despite the SAD being the BJP’s oldest ally.