Chandigarh September 19, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
Akali patriarch and five-time Chief Minister of Punjab Sardar Parkash Singh Badal today expressed “immense satisfaction and pride over the strong and principled stand taken by the Shiromani Akali Dal to save the beleaguered peasantry in Punjab and the rest of the country.”
“ I am pleased and proud that when the hour of reckoning arrived, my party, as always has held aloft the flag of justice for farmers and other exploited sections of society. This flag symbolizes the identity of the Akali culture and movements and it is a great feeling to watch it flying high,” said Mr Badal in a statement here this afternoon.
Mr Badal said that the farmers’ issue relates to the overall national interests.”Agriculture is the backbone of our economy. If farmers and agricultural economy suffers, the whole economy, including trade and industry will suffer too.”
He said that the Akalis have a long history of rejecting lure of office and standing up for principles. “ Lure of office means nothing to an Akali. Countless times, as during the Emergency, we turned down outright offers of power as a price for silence against injustice. But we always spurned such offers and preferred to stand by the country and principles, and filled jails for that. That tradition will always live on.”
Mr Badal described the party’s decision to pull out of the Union Government to fight alongside the farmers as “a proud and landmark moment in the party’s long history of standing up for principles and of always being on the side of the people whenever a line is drawn.”
The Akali leader said that the farmers’ plight is already extremely pathetic. “The Punjab farmers always came to the country’s rescue when it needed to be saved from the ignominy of famines and dependence on other nations. And they did so by sacrificing their only natural resources – water levels and soil fertility. Today, it is the country’s turn to stand by the farmers.”
Mr Badal said that he was confident that the outstanding and proud legacy of the Shiromani Akali Dal will be carried forward with aplomb. “With SAD’s present leadership ‘firmly and decisively’ standing shoulder to shoulder with the farmers, I am totally confident that the party’s proud and age-old legacy of fighting for the downtrodden, the needy and the exploited classes is in safe hands.
The SAD has always upheld the Panthic traditions of raising its voice in defense of the righteous causes, and after the decision of our minister to quit the Union government to fight for the farmers’ interests , I have no doubt that this tradition will be carried forward strongly and unflinchingly,” said Mr Badal in a statement here this afternoon.
The former Chief Minister said that with the resignation of its sole representative in the Union Cabinet, Mrs Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the SAD has demonstrated yet again that nothing is dearer to it than its principles as well as the interests of the people, especially of the farmers, the farm labour and other poor classes who are toiling for their rights. “I have run out of words to express how happy and proud I feel of my party for this decision,” said Mr Badal.
Mr Badal also felicitated Mrs Harsimrat Kaur Badal for “speaking out boldly for the farmers and for promising to stand by them as their “sister and daughter. ”This is what people expect from the Akali leadership and I feel deeply satisfied and quietly proud that the present leadership of the party has fully lived up to people’s , especially the farmers’ expectations in their hour of need,” said Mr Badal.
Mr Badal also praised and congratulated the Core Committee of the party on its “ bold, historic and principled stand .”
Mr Badal said that the legislation on the marketing of the farmers’ produce needed wider consultations, especially with the stakeholders, the farmers, as well as with the parties like Shiromani Akali Dal that have always been the voice of the farmers.
He said that he was satisfied that as a mature representative of the people, the SAD tried to convey the sentiments of the farmers to the Union government and tried its best to persuade it to refer the legislation to an all party Select Committee of MPs for wider consultations with the farmers. “The party tried to act as a bridge so as to find an amicable way to fully accommodate the farmers’ interests.
But I am glad that when that did not seem possible, and a line had to be drawn, the SAD stood on the right side of the line and did the only thing that its proud heritage demanded – quit the government. The SAD could never be a party to anything which harms the interests of the farmers,” said the senior statesman.
Mr Badal appealed to all Punjabis and all political parties to stand with their bread winners, the farmers, during this struggle for justice.