The AAP Monday staged a protest against the farm law at Jantar Mantar where Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hit out at the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), accusing it of “fooling” the people in the name of opposing the policy “which it helped draft as part of the Union Cabinet”.
Demanding the withdrawal of the new policy, enforced through a set of three bills passed in both Houses of the Parliament, Kejriwal said the BJP, which had promised to implement the MS Swaminathan commission report on hiking MSP, has “ended MSP altogether”.
The farm policy, said the AAP supremo, amounted to “backstabbing the farmers”. He said a few big private companies will derive benefits out of it at the cost of farmers.
“They (BJP) say only 6 per cent farmers sell their produce at MSP. It is a matter of shame. When we came to power, the government schools and hospitals were in bad shape. We worked on improving the, we did not close them down. If only 6 per cent farmers benefit from MSP, then they should ensure the share goes up to 100 per cent. This is what the farmers want,” Kejriwal said.
However, more than the BJP, the SAD, which quit the BJP-led NDA front over the farm bills, was at the receiving end of Kejriwal’s criticism. SAD MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal has also quit the Union Cabinet over the issue. The AAP is the principal opposition party in Congress-ruled Punjab, which goes to polls in 2022.
Without taking any name, Kejriwal said, “Some parties are indulging in politics. They say something in parliament, something behind closed doors and then enact drama before the public. There’s a national party in Punjab with a big leader. Their leader was a part of the committee formed by the BJP government to draft the bills. They helped draft the bills, got it passed in the Cabinet and the Parliament and then staged opposition. You think the people are fools? They are fooling the public,” Kejriwal said.
He demanded the roll back of the policy, asserting “there will be no compromise”. “Bring another law mandating that 100 per cent harvest will be procured at MSP,” he added.