Updated 28 September 2020 | 12:32 IST
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday termed the presidential assent to the contentious farm legislations and therefore the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill as sad, disappointing and very unfortunate”. during a statement, Badal said it had been a dark day for the country because the President refused to act because of the nation’s conscience. He said also claimed that only the SAD was a farmers’ party, not the BJP or the Congress. We were very hopeful that the President will return these Bills to Parliament for reconsideration as demanded by the SAD and a few other opposition parties,” he said, adding that his party will sketch the subsequent course of action after due deliberations. President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday gave assent to 3 contentious farm bills that have triggered protests, especially in Punjab and Haryana.
A SAD delegation led by Badal had met the President, urging him to not give his assent to the farm Bills and return them to Parliament for reconsideration. The SAD on Saturday quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over the farm legislations and therefore the non-inclusion of Punjabi as the official language in Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill. The Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020, provides for the inclusion of Kashmiri, Dogri, and Hindi within the list of official languages, additionally to Urdu and English. The SAD chief also lamented that before drafting the farm legislations, his party wasn’t consulted by the govt. there’s just one party within the country which is named the party of farmers, poor and khet mazdoor (farm labor), he claimed while addressing party workers at Rupnagar. Neither the Congress nor the BJP is often called farmers’ parties, he claimed. He said the farm Bills if implemented, won’t only affect farmers but also farm workers and arhtiyas (commission agents).
The SAD chief called upon all political parties and organizations to shut ranks for a united fight. We are able to join or follow any struggle within the overall interest of farmers, farm labor, arhtiyas, and other farm produce traders, said Badal. Badal said the country needed to know and empathize with farmers’ insight into the pathetic conditions during which they’re living. Anything just like the new farm legislation which increases the uncertainty over the fate of farmers’ produce can have disastrous implications not just for the economy but also for social stability within the country, he said. The farmers’ economic plight affects the whole economy. Therefore, what we are fighting for is to guard the country’s wider national interests, he said.
Badal also addressed party workers at Hoshiarpur and Phagwara so as to mobilize people for a Kisan advance October 1. He reiterated his party’s firm commitment to preserving peace, communal harmony, and fraternity in Punjab.