Taking a jibe at the SAD and the BJP for what he called a “public spectacle” of the blame game between the two long-time allies over the controversial Farm Bills, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday said the continued refusal of the Akalis to quit the NDA showed the “extent of their greed to cling to power”.
“The fact that the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is holding on to vestiges of power it continues to enjoy at the cost of Punjab and its farmers, despite being publicly humiliated by the alliance partner, the BJP, had exposed the Akalis’ dual standards and total lack of concern for the farming community,” Amarinder Singh said in a statement.
He was referring to the BJP’s statement that it had left the task of convincing the farmers about the agricultural Bills to the Akalis.
“Why else are the Akalis still a part of the anti-farmer and anti-people BJP-led government at the Centre, which conspired with large corporate houses to deprive the farmers of their livelihood and, in the process, ruin Punjab?” the Chief Minister asked, adding that the SAD was still trying hard to stay politically afloat by hook or crook.
Taking a dig at SAD chief Sukhbir Badal’s remark that Harsimrat Kaur’s resignation from the Union Cabinet was like an “atom bomb that had shaken the Prime Minister”, Amarinder Singh said it was not even a damp squib.
After the “politically motivated drama” of her resignation, which she had clearly done only to save face amid the farmer protests across Punjab, SAD President Sukhbir Badal was widely expected to pull his party out of the NDA, but that did not happen, Amarinder Singh said.
Lambasting the Akalis for actively supporting the Union government in what he dubbed as “selling off the farmers’ rights to the monopolistic corporate houses” through the “unconstitutional and undemocratic” Farm Bills, the Chief Minister said that the SAD had completely lost all political credibility or standing after their “”antics on the new laws.
“The Badals will go down in Akali history as the leaders responsible for the party’s destruction,” he said.
From the farmers’ resentment against them, to their fallout with the BJP, the Akalis seem to be heading towards elimination from Punjab’s political arena, said Amarinder Singh, adding that the state’s people, especially the farmers, would never forgive the Badals for their deception and dishonesty.
The Prime Minister, and his BJP, did not care for the Akalis as was evident from the former’s criticism of their alliance partner, and also the promptness with which Harsimrat’s resignation was accepted, said the Chief Minister.
It seemed that the BJP wanted to go it alone in the Punjab Assembly polls, he said, adding that the stage seemed set for the NDA to throw out the SAD if the latter did not quit the coalition ruling at the Centre on its own.