Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) workers along with a group of farmers held a tractor rally from Sidhwan Bet to Badowal on Wednesday. The protest was against the passing of new agriculture reform bills in the Parliament.
The rally was led by Dakha legislator Manpreet Singh Ayali and traversed from Sidhwan Bet to Savadi and Mullanpur to reach Badowal. Farmers drove their tractors holding black flags and shouting slogans demanding the NDA government revoke the Bills immediately or be ready for an even more intense agitation.
Addressing the farmers at Savadhi Anaj mandi, Manpreet Ayali said the SAD had been taking up the need for revocation of the agriculture ordinances immediately after they came into being following apprehensions expressed by farmers as well as party workers. He said it was unfortunate that the BJP did not take the farmers and SAD into confidence while framing the agriculture ordinances. He said the Centre also failed to allay the apprehensions of farmers and did not secure the MSP regime by making its continuation a part of the bills. “It is due to this that Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from the Parliament,” he said while adding that the move had been taken in the interest of the farming community.
Ayali also took a dig at chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh for betraying farmers. He said that the CM had earlier backstabbed farmers by making false vows in the name of the holy Gutka Sahib and Dasam Pitah. “Now, he is trying to deceive farmers yet again by becoming a part of the high-powered committee constituted to frame the farm bills. Farmers have seen through this sham and now only trust the SAD to secure justice for them,” he added.
The Dakha legislator also announced on the occasion that he was first and foremost a farmer. “I have been protesting against the farm bills ever since they came into being. I will not hesitate to make any sacrifice for the cause of farmers if need be. I will always stand with farmers and their cause,” he said.
The SAD leader appealed to party workers to participate wholeheartedly in the ‘chakka jam’ on Thursday to force the Centre to revoke the ‘anti-farmer’ agriculture bills.