CHANDIGARH: Even as farmers from Punjab and Haryana pressed ahead with their plan to protest in Delhi against the three central farm laws, opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene. The party also lambasted Haryana Chief Minister for his remarks on alleged link of farmers protest with Khalistani elements.
“Put all other engagements on hold and personally address and resolve the genuine demands of the agitating farmers of the country as a top national priority,” the party said.
A meeting of the SAD core committee met here and came down heavily on Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for what the party called his “highly provocative, dangerous and divisive statement to dub the farmers as Khalistanis”.
“Do these beleaguered elderly men and women from farmers’ families look like Khalistanis to Khattar and his party?” it asked.
Releasing the details of the meeting to the media, SAD President’s Principal Adviser Harcharan Bains said that the core committee accused the Haryana CM of “trying to revive the old Congress tactics to paint its political opponents as separatists”.
“It is the same mindset that was responsible for the Congress repression against Akali agitators in 1982 and continued for a decade and a half, painting a fiercely patriotic community as separatist,” said the SAD resolution adopted on the occasion.
“The Haryana CM is trying to create advance justification for repression and persecution against farmers. The fact is that the BJP and its governments at the Centre and in Haryana have got jittery by the success of the farmers’ secular and democratic movement,” he said.
The party asserted that the protesters’ demand on the three anti-farmer Acts were perfectly legitimate, secular and constitutional. The Prime Minister and his colleagues have repeatedly maintained that the assured marketing of farmers’ produce at the minimum support price will be continued under all circumstances.
“That being so, there should be no objection in giving a legal shape to the government’s commitments through necessary legislation,” the SAD said in a statement.