Akalis 'sold out' Punjab's interests by supporting ordinances: Punjab CM

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh speaks on Covid-19 issue, in Chandigarh.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday slammed Akalis, accusing them of selling the state's interests by agreeing to the anti-farm ordinances to ruin the state's farming community.

The chief minister, however, asserted that he would take the fight against the ordinances related to the agriculture sector to the Centre.

Singh said he would be writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon for an appointment of an all-party delegation with him over this issue.

No matter what (SAD chief) Sukhbir Badal or BJP says, once these ordinances are passed, the Centre's next step would be to end the MSP regime and dismantle the FCI, claimed Singh.

You can imagine what will happen to Punjab farmers if this becomes a reality, he said, adding the procurement process will come to an end and mandis will be finished once the ordinances become law.

The Centre had promulgated three ordinances -- the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance.

The Akalis were only interested in protecting their political interests, with Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal focused on safeguarding her position in the Union Cabinet, alleged Singh.

The Badals are appeasing the Bharatiya Janata Party to save their alliance in Punjab at any cost, he claimed.

They are just bothered about their political interests. Sukhbir wants his wife to stay in the Union Cabinet while he remains the 'Pradhan' here. They are thinking about themselves and not of Punjab, he alleged.

Underlining the need to save Punjab and protect its interests, the chief minister said the ordinances were 100 percent against Punjab and anti-farmers, as agreed by all political parties, except the BJP and the Akalis.

All the Kisan Unions, who he had met recently, also wanted immediate scrapping of these ordinances, he added.

Responding to questions during a Facebook Live edition of 'AskCaptain', the chief minister said the Akalis had earlier ruined the state with their 'Punjabi Suba movement' and were now hell-bent on destroying the farming sector by supporting these ordinances, which are a blatant attack on the country's federal structure.

History is witness to the fact that the Akalis divided Punjab and gave away the bulk of state's resources to Himachal Pradesh and Haryana due to their sheer short-sighted focus on their petty political interests, he alleged in an official release here.

Singh welcomed the Centre's permission to his request to allow the use of helicopters to spray insecticides on crops to prevent locust attack.

While expressing the hope that the locust swarms would spare Punjab, he said a Mi-17 had been earmarked for spraying chemicals and the operation would start from Rajasthan soon.

On the Covid-19 situation, the CM said things were not good, as cases continued to rise across India, and even Punjab has touched the 6,000-mark, with 157 deaths reported so far.

To a question on the Punjab and Haryana High Court decision on payment of school fees in the absence of classes, the CM said he was also not happy with the same and the state government was in the process of filing a review petition in the high court.

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