Chandigarh, Oct 12 (PTI) The SAD on Monday gave a seven-day ultimatum to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to call a special session of the Vidhan Sabha to repeal the state's amended APMC Act. The Shiromani Akali Dal also demanded that the state be notified as a principal market area in order to negate the three new farm laws, the party said.
In the event of the chief minister's refusal to convene the Assembly session, the party would 'gherao' his residence. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the party's core committee, the highest decision-making body, it said.
The meeting was chaired by SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Harcharan Bains, Principal Advisor to the SAD chief said, 'The ultimatum to Amarinder Singh has become necessary in view of the CM's continued refusal to take a clear stand against the anti-farmer Acts of the government of India as well as his stubborn refusal to declare the entire state a principal market area where the Centre's Acts would no longer be implementable.' Bains said that the party's ultimatum comes in the wake of the chief minister's daily 'flip-flop' on the calling of the session.
'He has been playing hide and seek with the people and their representatives on the convening of the session, promising to call it one day and going back on it the next. The same evasiveness marks Amarinder Singh's stand on the three Acts. We call for an end to this politics of evasion,' he said in a statement here. The SAD has been demanding the state government to repeal the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act, 2017.
According to the Akalis, the APMC Act contained all the provisions which were in the new farm legislations.
The SAD wants the Centre to make assured marketing of farmers' crops at minimum support price (MSP), a constitutionally mandatory provision on par with the fundamental right.
Meanwhile, the Punjab chief minister said the SAD had neither the moral right nor any political standing to dictate terms to him or his government in the matter.
He asserted that convening the Vidhan Sabha session to negate the Centre's farm laws was his government's prerogative.
It was ludicrous that the party, which had boycotted the last Vidhan Sabha session to avoid voting for the resolution against the farm laws, was now so desperate about convening the next session to reject those very legislations, the chief minister said.
He termed the SAD's ultimatum and threat of gherao on the issue as yet another example of the 'shocking double standards' of the Badals who had 'brazenly back-stabbed' the farmers on the issue.
Meanwhile, the SAD's core committee also decided to take up the issue of early reopening of the Kartarpur Corridor with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar soon to ensure Sikh pilgrims could pay obeisance at the shrine in Pakistan during the run up to the 551th 'Parkash Purab' of Guru Nanak Dev. A party delegation will meet Jaishankar in this regard, the statement said.
The core committee noted that restrictions had been removed on paying obeisance at all shrines across the country and the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It said since the Pakistan government has acceded to reopen the corridor, the Union government should also give permission for the same at the earliest.
The committee also expressed serious concern over the alleged 'mishandling' of the Hathras incident by the Uttar Pradesh government and asked it to ensure the victim's family received justice. It was also decided that the entire organisational structure of the party would be completed by November 15. PTI CHS VSD KJ