Chandigarh, September 15
Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Navjot Singh Sidhu today accused the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) of being what he called “the main architects” of the three central farm laws.
Going all out against SAD patron Parkash Singh Bal and his son Sukhbir at his first press conference after taking over as PCC chief, Sidhu on Wednesday said it was the blue print of the Punjab Contract Farming Act 2013 — passed by then SAD-BJP government in the Vidhan Sabha — that formed the basis of the controversial central farm laws.
He alleged a deep connection between the Punjab Contract Farming Act and the central farm laws proved an understanding between the two former alliance partners. “First the anti-farmer Bill was passed in the state Assembly before bringing its exact replicas in Parliament and getting these passed in 2020. This is the true face of the Badals.”
After stiff opposition, the state did not enforce the Punjab Contract Farming Act.
Giving clause-by-clause details of the contract farming law and how the NDA government photocopied the clauses with minor changes to give it the shape of three central farm laws, Sidhu said: “The BJP and SAD are two sides of the same coin. They were one and they will be one once again after the elections.”
Sidhu, accompanied by his four working presidents, played pre-recorded videos of Badal, Sukhbir and Harsimrat first praising and later opposing the same agriculture laws under public pressure.
Otherwise critical of the CM Capt Amarinder Singh over poll promises, Sidhu ducked questions over his appeal to farmers to call off protest in Punjab. He repeatedly said “no comments”.
He also praised the state government’s farm loan and debt waiver but without naming the CM. He did not take any other political questions other than those on the farm laws.