Chandigarh, Oct 2 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday launched the Congress' signature campaign in the state against the new farm laws and slammed the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for its 'political theatrics' over Harsimrat Kaur Badal's resignation from the Union Cabinet.
Singh said the SAD is projecting Badal's resignation from the Narendra Modi cabinet against the farm bills 'as a big sacrifice instead of a duty towards Punjab'.
Recalling that he himself had 'resigned from Parliament twice to uphold the interests of the state and its people', the chief minister said he had done it out of a sense of duty and never as a sham sacrifice, 'as had been done by Badal'.
He trashed the recent SAD protests over the new farm laws as a 'complete failure', and termed it as an 'attempt to vitiate' the atmosphere of Punjab.
'Where were they when the state government moved a resolution in the Vidhan Sabha on August 28 seeking withdrawal of the anti-farmer ordinances and demanding that the Centre make MSP a statutory right?' he asked.
'Their gimmicks now would not help the Akalis woo the farmers, whose lives they themselves were party to destroying as former allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),' he said, reiterating that his government will challenge the new laws constitutionally.
'This is not a political fight about the BJP or the Congress, but a fight about our Kisani, about Punjab, our vajood (existence),' a statement quoted the chief minister as saying.
The chief minister was addressing the state's sarpanches virtually, on the sidelines of virtual inauguration of three projects to mark the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri from the Punjab Civil Secretariat.
Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Sunil Jakhar and Punjab Youth Congress (PYC) president Brinder Singh Dhillon were present at the launch of the signature campaign against the farm laws.
Pointing out that despite being just 2 per cent of the country's population, 'Punjab has fed the entire nation for over six decades', the chief minister said. Soon after the promulgation of the three farm ordinances by the central government on June 5, he had written to the prime minister to convey his government's strong reservations and concern.
'However, the Centre did not address the state's concerns but went ahead to enact the anti-farmer agricultural laws through brute majority,' he added.
Noting that agriculture is a state subject, the chief minister said the Centre had encroached on the states' powers with these laws, which would 'devastate the farm sector'.
He reiterated his commitment to the Kisan Unions of full support of the state government in their fight against the 'draconian laws'. PTI SUN VSD CK