The Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday gave a seven-day ultimatum to Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh for convening a special session of the Punjab Assembly to declare the entire state a notified Mandi (principal market area) and reject the Centre’s recent laws on farm marketing besides repealing the state’s own amended APMC Act of 2017.
After a special meeting of the SAD core committee, chaired by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal this afternoon, the party said in the event of the Congress CM’s refusal to convene the Assembly session within a week, the party would gherao his residence.
The SAD core committee also iterated its continued firm support to the agitating farmers’ organisations fighting for the cause of the beleaguered peasantry, especially against the three controversial central farm Acts.
Giving details of decisions taken at the core committee meeting, principal advisor to the SAD president, Harcharan Bains, 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 Centre government 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 Capt Amarinder’s “daily flip-flops” on the convening of the state Assembly session.
He said the SAD wants the Centre to make assured marketing of farmers’ crops at Minimum Support Price (MSP) a constitutionally mandatory provision at par with the fundamental right. The party also wants the MSP be fixed as per the Swaminathan formula of 50 per cent profit plus the sum total of all the costs incurred by the farmers.
The SAD core committee also decided to take up the issue of early reopening of the Kartarpur Corridor with the external affairs minister soon to ensure Sikh pilgrims could pay obeisance at the shrine in Pakistan in the run-up to the 551th Parkash Purab of Sri Guru Nanak Dev.
The SAD committee also expressed serious concern at the mishandling of the Hathras gangrape-murder incident by the Uttar Pradesh government and asked it to ensure the victim family gets justice besides taking strict exemplary action against police officials who had cremated the body of the victim forcibly. “Such acts have no place in a democracy,” it asserted.