Chandigarh : The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Wednesday asked Punjab Congress President Navjot Sidhu not to try to befool people by raking up old issues and instead challenged him to muster the courage to repeal the amendments made in the APMC Act by his government in 2017 if he was really serious about helping the cause of the farming community.
In a statement here, SAD Spokesman Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said “today’s utterances of Sidhu indicate that he is keen to play a game of one-upmanship with chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh and has no intention of doing anything to ensure repeal of the three agriculture acts.
Capt Amarinder Singh woke up and realized the damage the three contentious laws were doing to Punjab two days back, nearly one year after they were passed by parliament. Now Sidhu has also woken up from his slumber and wants to project himself as a sympathizer of the Kisan cause even though he has done nothing to support this cause since the last one year”.
Stating that the train had already left the station, Dr Cheema advised the PCC President to act maturely and not insult the intelligence of Punjabis with outlandish claims.
Speaking about the 2013 Act passed during the SAD-BJP tenure, the SAD leader said “Sidhu seems to have forgotten that his wife was a chief parliamentary secretary in the then government”. He said Sidhu had also failed to dig up files and detail the Congress party’s response to the Act.
He also asked Sidhu to tell if he had ever objected to the 2013 Act as minister in the Congress government in 2017 and even later? “It is only now with elections months away that you are taking up this issue to cover up your failures.”
Accusing Navjot Sidhu of playing the game of the Gandhi family even as he cried crocodile tears for farmers, Dr Cheema asked him to tell Punjabis why he was silent on the Congress party’s principled stand to abolish APMC mandis as well as do away with the essential commodities act.
“This was contained in the Congress party’s election manifesto also in 2019 however Sidhu has never spoken out against this anti-farmer stand. This only goes on to show his true colours besides proving how subservient he is to the Gandhi family,” he said.
The SAD leader also asked Sidhu why he was not speaking up against the amendments made in the APMC Act by his government in 2017 which contained the same provisions as in the three black laws. “The amendments allow for creation of private mandis, direct purchase from farmers, a uniform licensing system and establishment of an e-trading platform. You are yet to raise your voice against this even as you indulge in empty theatrics and mischievous allegations.”
He asked Sidhu to wisen up and behave like a PCC President instead of a rabble rouser. “The SAD had suggested in the All Party Meeting called by the chief minister that the latter should lead a delegation to the Prime Minister demanding immediate repeal of the three farm laws. It is initiatives like these which can take farmers out of the crutches of corporates. Not misguided potshots without meaning or sense. Take note and correct yourself in the interest of the annadaata”, Dr Cheema advised Mr Navjot Sidhu.