'SAD main architect of farm laws'
Chandigarh: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday alleged that the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was "the main architects of the three central farm laws".
In his first press conference after taking over as the PPCC chief, Sidhu attacked the SAD and consciously avoided targeting his own government.
He said the three central farm laws were almost exact replicas of the contract farming law introduced in 2013 by the previous SAD-BJP government in Punjab Vidhan sabha.
However, after opposition from farmers, the law was put on hold. Sidhu said: "The BJP and SAD are two sides of the same coin. The breakup of the alliance was a smokescreen. They were one and they will be one once again after the elections".
Sidhu, who accompanied by his four working presidents, played pre-recorded videos of Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Singh Badal, and Harsimrat Singh Badal first praising and later opposing the same agriculture laws. Sidhu also praised the state government's farm loan waiver and loan debt waiver but without naming the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh but avoided most other questions about the functioning of the Congress government.
The SAD, however, reacted sharply to Sidhu's allegations and asked him not 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.
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 black 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."