The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) over the weekend severed ties with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on the issue of farm legislations against which farmers were protesting across the nation.
The party core committee made the decision after a four hour long meeting. SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal announced partying ways with the BJP after the meeting on Saturday night.
He said the core committee at its emergency meeting here decided unanimously to pull out of the BJP-led NDA because of the Centre’s stubborn refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of farmers' crops on MSP and its continued insensitivity to Punjabi and Sikh issues like excluding Punjabi language as official language in Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing the media, Sukhbir Badal said SAD will continue stand by its fundamental principles of peace, harmony, and protect the interests of Punjab, Punjabis in general and Sikhs and farmers in particular.
He described that the decision has been taken in consultation with the people of Punjab, especially party workers and farmers. Badal said the Bills on agricultural marketing brought by the BJP government are lethal and disastrous for the already beleaguered farmers.
He said the SAD was the oldest ally of the BJP but the government did not listen to it on honouring the sentiments of farmers. Former MP Prem Singh Chandumajra said the SAD was forced to first leave the Union Cabinet and now the NDA as the BJP-led alliance was obstinate and stubborn over bringing the farm legislations despite protests by farmers, opposition and the Akali Dal. SAD patriarch Parkash Singh Badal was among the main founder members of the NDA.
The Akali-BJP alliance had contested elections in Punjab together for three decades. Even as Harsimrat Badal quit as minister at the Centre, SAD has been attacked by the Congress as doing too little, too late.
Photo courtesy of Deccan Herald.