Badals laid foundation of Centre's farm laws: Sidhu
Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday attacked the Badals, accusing them of laying the foundation of the Centre's farm laws over which farmers are protesting for the past several months.
The party in a statement said Sidhu is trying to ''befool'' people by raking up old issues to cover up his party's failures.
Sidhu said, ''It is with conviction and clarity that I say that the Badals laid the foundation of the Centre's three black laws.'' ''Badals are the policy makers (neeti nirmata) for these three black laws,'' alleged Sidhu while addressing his first press conference after assuming the charge of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC).
Flanked by four state Congress working presidents and general secretary Pargat Singh, Sidhu said former CM Parkash Singh Badal had tabled a bill on contract farming in the state Assembly in 2013 and later it was enacted as the Punjab Contract Farming Act.
The Punjab law is the ''soul'' while the Centre's three laws are the ''body'', he said.
Sidhu at the press conference claimed that the Punjab law never talked about the minimum support price and it allowed corporates to buy crop below it in order to exploit farmers.
Sidhu also compared provisions of the Punjab law with the Centre's Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, saying it is a ''photostat copy'' of the state law.
He said there was no MSP guarantee in both laws, which mention dispute settlement by bureaucracy, bar on jurisdiction of the civil court, amount recovered as land revenue, period of agreement and registration authority. These laws were framed only to benefit the corporates, Sidhu alleged.
The cricketer-turned-politician slammed the Badals for first backing the Centre's three farm laws and then taking a U-turn after criticism from farmers.
Some video clips of Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Singh Badal and Harsimrat Kaur Badal showing them praising the Centre's three farm laws were also played during the press conference. He accused Harsimrat Badal of signing the draft of farm ordinances when she was a Union minister.
He said Rs 78,000 crore was waived by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. ''One may say anything on the Punjab government's intent but it waived Rs 5,800 crore of farmers and Rs 520 crore of landless farmers,'' he said.
Asked about the party's campaigning in the backdrop of his meeting with farmer leaders a few days aho, Sidhu said he will not talk about in the media. However, when more journalists pressed him for reply, he said the party leadership will decide on farmers' demands.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)