Centre undermining federalism: Cong leader Sidhu at dharna against farm laws

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (PTI) Former Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday alleged that by introducing the new farm legislation, the central government was undermining federalism and suppressing the voice of the elected MLAs of Punjab.

Addressing a dharna by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Congress MLAs against the Centre's farm laws at Jantar Mantar in the national capital, he said people of the state would not tolerate any attack on their 'pride and turbans'.

'Those who talk of one nation, one market, are trying to suppress the voice of Punjab and its chief minister. We will not tolerate this. What justice is this? You are trying to suppress the voice of elected MLAs,' he said.

Sidhu said the central farm laws were 'an attack on the federal structure' and against the Constitution of India.

Terming the central laws as 'black laws', Sidhu claimed they are aimed at helping only corporates and not farmers.

'We will not let Ambani and Adani set foot in Punjab and won't let anyone snatch the rights of farmers,' he said.

Drawing a parallel with the East India Company's hegemony during the colonial era, the firebrand leader accused the BJP-led government of trying to create a monopoly of two-three corporates.

He alleged that while corporate tax to the tune of Rs 17 lakh was waived off and termed as 'incentives', small concessions given to farmers are termed as 'subsidies'.

“Our turbans are our identity which Guru Nanak Dev ji gave us and we will not let you attack our pride and turbans,' Sidhu said.

Participating in the dharna, former Akali Dal leader Parminder Singh Dhindsa called for continued agitation to pressure the Centre to withdraw the new farm laws and realize the rights of the farmers of Punjab.

Dhindsa also rued the absence of AAP and Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) MLAs at the dharna saying unity was the need of the hour.

Bholath MLA and former AAP leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira attacked the Centre over the farm laws and the blockade of goods trains in the state and said trade with Pakistan must resume to help revive Punjab's economy. PTI SKC RDM RDM