Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders Sukhbir Singh Badal and Harsimrat Kaur Badal were detained by Punjab Police from two separate locations as they were trying to enter Chandigarh on Thursday, 1 October while marching towards the Raj Bhawan to submit a memorandum to the Governor against the recently passed farm bills.
Thousands of farmers had joined three separate marches in vehicles starting from all three Sikh religious ‘Takhts’ to Chandigarh on Thursday as the SAD planned to hand over a memorandum demanding revocation of the recently-passed agricultural laws through the Governor of Punjab.
The three marches were supposed to culminate at Raj Bhawan.
According to ANI, the police lathi-charged and used water cannons to disperse SAD workers near Mullapur barrier.
Harsimrat Badal took to Twitter to say that “instead of considering the rights of the farmers, they are being arrested.”
Three Rallies from Three Takhts
While party President Sukhbir Singh Badal led the march from Sri Akal Takht in Amritsar, former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal led the march from Sri Damdama Sahib at Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda, and Prem Singh Chandumajra from Sri Keshgarh Sahib at Anandpur Sahib.
“We’ll give a memorandum to the Governor, with a request to Centre and President that Parliament session be called again and farm laws be taken back,” Sukhbir Singh Badal said while addressing farmers earlier at the march, reported ANI.
‘Why Did Rahul Not Oppose Bills in Parliament?’
The party on Wednesday asked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to tell farmers why he had supported the abolition of the APMC Act and why he had not protested against the three 'anti-farmer' agricultural Bills when they were tabled in the Parliament for ratification.
In a statement, party spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said that after failing on all fronts and betraying the farmers by amending the state APMC Act in 2017, Punjab Congress is now trying to win the sympathy of the farmers by indulging in cheap publicity stunts.
“Getting Rahul Gandhi astride on a tractor in Punjab is nothing but a photo op designed to fool the farmers. The Congress has always adopted an anti-farmer stance, be it the party’s 2019 election manifesto calling for abolition of the APMC Act or the amendment of the state APMC Act in Punjab in 2017, which included all the provisions contained in the farm Bills passed recently,” Cheema said.
The SAD leader said that before coming to Punjab, Rahul Gandhi should come clean and tell the farmers of the state where he was when the farm Bills were tabled in the Parliament.
He said Rahul Gandhi should also explain why no top leader from the Congress spoke against the Bills in the Parliament and why the party did not even issue a whip to ensure all its MPs voted against the Bills.
Stating that both Rahul Gandhi and the Congress should not play a double game and try to deceive the farming community, Cheema said the former Congress president should tell the farmers why the party had not withdrawn support to the Udhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra after the latter voted in favour of the farm Bills in the Parliament.
(With inputs from ANI and IANS.)