Shiromani Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from her post of Union Cabinet Minister of Food Processing, in protest against farm bills. Taking to Twitter, she said that she is protesting against anti-farmer ordinances and legislation. “Shiromani Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigns from her post of Union Cabinet Minister of Food Processing, in protest against farm bills,” she tweeted.
I have resigned from Union Cabinet in protest against anti-farmer ordinances and legislation. Proud to stand with farmers as their daughter & sister.
— Harsimrat Kaur Badal (@HarsimratBadal_) September 17, 2020
Prior to her resignation, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal announced in Lok Sabha that party leader and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal will quit the Modi government in protest against the three farm bills tabled by the Centre in Parliament. “I announce that Harsimrat Kaur Badal will resign from the government,” Sukhbir Singh Badal said in Lok Sabha.
She is the only SAD representative in the Modi government. The Punjab party is the oldest BJP ally.
In his speech during a discussion on two of the farm bills — the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, Sukhbir Singh Badal said the proposed laws will “destroy” the 50 years of hard work done by successive Punjab governments to build the farm sector.
He recalled Punjab’s massive contribution in making India self-sufficient in food grain production as he vehemently opposed the bills.
The bills — which the BJP claims is big ticket reform in the agri sector — have hugely upset the farmers of Punjab and Haryana, who have been holding protests for weeks.
WHAT ARE THE FARM BILLS?
On September 14, the PM Modi led government introduced ‘The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill’, ‘The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill’, and ‘The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill’.
These bills are aimed to replace the ordinances promulgated by the government in the past.
The government has argued that these measures will free farmers from the existing government-controlled markets and prices, and that they can enter into agreements with private parties for a better price of their produce.
However, farmers are apprehensive and fear that once these bills are passed by Parliament, they would pave the way for dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system and leave the farming community at the “mercy” of big corporates.
(With PTI inputs)
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