SAD accuses Pb CM of 'compromising' state's interests

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Chandigarh, Apr 10 (PTI) SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday accused Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh of being “hand in glove” with the BJP-led Centre and “compromising” state’s interests besides 'punishing' farmers for protesting against the three farm laws.

“Forget fighting for the rights of the state, Amarinder does not even raise the issues affecting its people with the central government,” Badal alleged in a statement here.

The Shiromani Akali Dal chief alleged the CM had time and again agreed with all the “anti-farmer” steps taken by the Central government.

The CM is “afraid” of the central government, he said, adding that the farm agitation would not have started had Amarinder taken prompt action when the agricultural ordinances were promulgated.

At that time, the chief minister was part of the committee in which the farm ordinances were discussed, said the Shiromani Akali Dal chief.

Badal said the chief minister indulged in a “drama” of opposing the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme which he had agreed in writing to implement from this year.

“Amarinder even assured farmers and 'arhtiyas' that the scheme would not be implemented in Punjab but the ministerial team led by Finance Minister Manpreet Badal meekly surrendered before the Centre in its meeting with Food and Public Distribution minister Piyush Goyal,” he said.

Badal said the chief minister had similarly also “surrendered” before the Centre on the issue of seeking rightful compensation of Rs 800 crore to the state on account of Rural Development Fund (RDF).

“It is the state's right to impose taxes and the chief minister should not allow the Centre to infringe on the state's powers in a federal set up,” he said.

The SAD leader also castigated the chief minister for not opposing the “increase” in fertilizer prices, stating the latter's “unholy tie up” with the BJP government was affecting the very livelihood of the farming community.

Badal said it was a matter of record that the chief minister did not meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi even once to get farmers’ problems resolved.

“Punjabis have been left to their plight. In such a situation, Amarinder has lost the moral right to continue in his chair. He should resign immediately,” he said.

Badal, meanwhile, also announced former minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon as party candidate from the assembly seat Zira. Punjab assembly polls are due early next year. PTI CHS VSD RAX RAX