Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
“As a first step, the three Acts in question that have pushed the country into deep turmoil must be withdrawn without making the farmers and their families endure any more suffering in this biting cold,” said Badal. (PTI file photo)
Attributing the ongoing farmers’ campaign against the three agricultural laws to the abandonment of a federal approach, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) stalwart Parkash Singh Badal on Monday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal intervention to break the stalemate by repealing the contentious laws.
“The ongoing crisis needs your immediate and undivided attention. I strongly urge you to show magnanimity,” the former Union minister and five-time Punjab chief minister wrote in a letter to Modi on the eve of the Bharat Bandh called by farmers to protest against the laws.
“As a first step, the three Acts in question that have pushed the country into deep turmoil must be withdrawn without making the farmers and their families endure any more suffering in this biting cold,” said Badal.
This is the first time that the Akali supremo, who turns 93 on Tuesday, has written to Modi since the SAD walked out of the NDA and ended its 24-year association with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the farm laws that have pitched farmers’ bodies against the Centre.
The issue, Badal said, does not concern farmers alone but affects the entire economic fabric of the country because traders, businessmen, shopkeepers and workers are directly affected by it. In a scathing critique of the Modi government, Badal said the roots of the ongoing crisis lie in the abdication of a commitment to the federal approach. “The farmers’ crisis is not the only instance where this inclusive approach to nation building has been ignored or abandoned.”