Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday the passage of a Bill making the entire state a single ‘mandi’ (market) by Congress ruled Chhattisgarh had exposed the fraud played on farmers by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

He said Amarinder played a fixed match with the Centre and refused to protect the farming community from the ill effects of the agri-marketing laws.
Addressing a virtual conference, the SAD president said even as Congress ruled Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan governments had passed similar laws to protect their farmers, Amarinder Singh had left the farmers of the state at the mercy of the Centre.

“The Congress government in Punjab has deliberately amended the Central Acts under the Trade subject which in on the concurrent list instead of bringing in legislation under the Agricultural head which is on the state list as was done by the Chhattisgarh government. This amounts to selling off the interests of the State to the central BJP government”, Badal added.

The SAD president said he had all along suggested that Punjab should bring in legislation to ensure its farmers did not face exploitation at the hands of private players.

‘It was mooted that a Bill be passed to make the entire state a single mandi (principal marketing yard) to negate the implementation of the three agri laws in Punjab. The CM rejected the proposal saying it was not feasible but his Chhattisgarh counterpart does not feel so. This makes it clear Amarinder Singh is playing to Delhi’s tunes and does not want to do anything which will upset the centre,”the SAD chief said.

Requesting farmer organizations to recognize who was with them and who had backstabbed them, Badal said Capt Amarinder was directly responsible for the present state of affairs in Punjab including the economic blockade of the state.

“If Amarinder had repealed the Central agri laws besides passing a Bill making the entire state a single mandi the future of the farming community could have been secured. Instead of doing this the chief minister chose to play into the hands of the Centre,” he added.