Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has taken a strong stand against its ally BJP, as the Union Minister Harsimrat Badal resigns from the Cabinet. She resigned from the cabinet in the protest Against the three farm ordinances, i.e, The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, which are made official by the NDA Government and tabled them in Lok Sabha to replace the earlier.
What SAD president says about this?
Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal has said that the central government has never consulted with the SAD party on these ordinances and her wife Harsimrat has told the government about the farmer’s reservation. Farmers in Punjab and Haryana have been protesting against the ordinances. Party has voted against the bills.
However, less than a month ago, Akali Dal has been defending the Centre on the decisions of ordinances. Just a day before the Punjab Assembly session on August 28, Sukhbir Badal had released a letter from Union Agriculture Minister Narender Singh Tomar saying, the practice of acquiring grains at a minimum support price (MSP) will remain unchanged. He had accused the Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh of misleading farmers.
Now, two of them are speaking in one voice against the ordinances.
Why all of this matters most for SAD?
Farmers form the backbone of the Akali Dal vote bank in Punjab. This week, Badal said, “Every Akali is a farmer and every farmer is Akali.”
Farmers organizations across the state have compromised on their political differences to unite against the ordinances. Even, villagers in the Malwa belt warned the political leaders that they will not let any leader enter their village who will support the ordinances.
SAD, the 100-year-old party, which had performed its poorest in 2017 Assembly elections with a mere 15 seats out of 117, cannot risk losing its core constituency.
Political experts say that it is a question of party survival in the state that enjoyed two successive terms from 2007 before the 2017 rout. The SAD and BJP alliance secured only 15% of the seats while Congress recorded its most powerful win since 1957.