Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday asked chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh not to mislead Punjab’s farmers by “indulging in farcical opposition” to the central government’s ordinance on agriculture reforms.
In a statement, the SAD chief asked the CM to tell Punjabis why his government had amended the State Agriculture Produce Markets Act (APMC) to allow creation of private markets, direct marketing, electronic agricultural marketing and single unified licence for the entire state in 2017.
“Not only this, the Congress government was party to passing of the Farming Produce Trade and Commerce Ordinance, 2020, as it not only participated in the consultative process but also gave feedback to the Centre that it had already amended the state APMC Act to enable implementation of the proposed ordinance,” he added.
“Amarinder Singh is again trying to deceive the farmers of Punjab. His statement demanding withdrawal of the ordinance is nothing but a ploy to inflame sentiments and play politics over a sensitive matter which concerns the welfare of the farmers,” he said.
The SAD chief said instead of trying to divert attention from his own failures, the CM should take back the steep increase in value added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel if he was really worried about the welfare of farmers and the common man.
“While a hike of ₹2 was effected on both petrol and diesel on May 6, the government further announced an increase of ₹1.20 per litre on petrol and 0.53 paisa on diesel on June 15,” he said.
Sukhbir accused the Congress and its president Sonia Gandhi of adopting double standards. He said while the Congress chief had written to the Prime Minister protesting against the hike in fuel prices, she seemed to have forgotten to tell her CM in Punjab not to profit from the misery of the people.