Chandigarh Oct 12 (IANS) Asserting that convening a Vidhan Sabha session to negate the Centre’s farm laws was his government’s prerogative, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Monday the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had neither the moral right nor any political standing to dictate terms to him or his government in this 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 to him.
He termed the SAD’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.
Amarinder Singh said that he did not need the Akalis’ advice or ultimatum to do the right thing for the farmers, whom SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur 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, the Chief Minister 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 also 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 save 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, Amarinder Singh mocked the Akalis’ sudden recollection of the Swaminathan Committee suggestions, which they had not once mentioned in the past six 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 thought of the Swaminathan formula,” asked the Chief Minister.
Amarinder Singh also rejected SAD’s ultimatum for sacking state SC Welfare Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot in the alleged scholarship scam, in which a committee of three 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 the assessment of the security perception and the Covid situation.