Harsimrat Badal assaults Modi govt, alleges intelligence failure on January 26

Vibha Sharma

Today News Online Service

New Delhi, February 9

Launching a fierce attack against the Narendra Modi Government of which she was a part of when it passed the three contentious farm Ordinances, Akali leader Harsimrat Badal on Tuesday said she constantly requested her Cabinet colleagues for wider consultations before bringing the laws, apprising them of growing unrest among the farming community.

“But you did not listen to us, your oldest ally since times when you had just two MPs in the Parliament,” she told members of the Treasury Benches speaking on the motion of thanks on the President’s address in the Lok Sabha today.

“It is a fact that Working Group on Consumer Affairs headed by then Gujarat CM (Prime Minister Modi) recommended protection of farmer interest by ensuring there was no farmer-trader transaction below MSP. What has changed since then,” she questioned.

Demanding a probe, she also accused the Modi government of “intelligence failure” ahead of January 26. “Violence should not have happened. But when you (the Modi government) could lock down the country in four hours, announce demonetisation in a few hours, when you knew a day before (January 26) about what had been announced from a (farmers) stage why you could not block roads on the day,” she questioned.

She also slammed the BJP leadership for “vilifying” the “Kesri Nishan”, questioning “why those who sacrificed most for national flag are being targeted”. Amid objections from BJP MPs, she said “those who called the farmers first ‘bicholia’ (middlemen), then Maoists, then naxalites, then ‘atankwadi’ (extremists), then Khalistanis are all sitting here. Tell me which farmer does AK-47 ki kheti”.

Regarding the hoisting of ‘Kesri” flag at the Red Fort on January 26, Harsimrat said a lot has been said about “insult” of Tricolour to protect which “70 per cent of blood that has been shed has been from the (Sikh) community”. “This is the same ‘kesri’ PM Modi wears. For us (Sikh community) the Red Fort is a seat of oppression and tyranny, it is from here martyrdom of our ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur was announced. He chose martyrdom to save your ‘janaeu’ and ‘tilak’,” she said.

She also slammed PM Modi for giving names like “andolajeevi” and “parjeevi” to the agitators.

Meanwhile, RLP’s Hanuman Beniwal from Rajasthan warned saying that the BJP should not be under any misconception that the agitation is limited to Punjab and Haryana. “You may have to sit in the Opposition next time,” he warned, claiming that “many BJP MPs have expressed fears to him in confidence that if laws are not taken back they may have to face problems in next elections”.

“If the laws are so good why have you agreed to amend them…You should leave your ‘zid’ (stubbornness) because you have to go back to people. If you think that farmers will forget, you are wrong, they will not forget. When they see the (EVM) machine and see your button (Lotus symbol), they will remember,” Beniwal said demanding a law on MSP and repeal of the three farm laws.

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