Kisan March: Akali chief Harsimrat Badal detained at Zirakpur-Chandigarh border


Tribune News Service
Amritsar, October 1

Former union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal was on Thursday detained by the Chandigarh Police after she arrived at the Chandigarh-Zirakpur border along with her supporters.

Dera Bassi MLA NK Sharma, Bhupinder Singh Bhunder and Youth Akali Dal (SAD) president Parambans Singh Romana were among the other leaders detained by the Chandigarh Police.

The police also resorted to mild lathicharge on her supporters to push them back.

She was trying to enter Chandigarh. 

Harsimrat was leading a procession which commenced from Takht Damdama Sahib at Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda.

On September 17, Badal had quit the Union Cabinet after the SAD chief had strongly opposed the bills in Lok Sabha, claiming the legislations will “destroy” the agriculture sector in Punjab.

Meanwhile, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal along with Akali leaders, including Bibi Jagir Kaur, Bikram Singh Majthia, sat on a dharna at Mullanpur-Chandigarh border,

An ambulance was stuck at Sukhvir’s rally in Mullanpur.  

Earlier in the day, Sukhbir led the ‘Kisan March’ from Amritsar contesting the farm acts enacted by the NDA-led Union government.

The march commenced after Badal paid obeisance at the Golden Temple and the Akal Takht.

Sukhbir told that as per “panthic tradition”, the march has been started after taking Guru’s blessings.

Accompanied by senior SAD leadership, including Bikram Singh Majithia, Virsa Singh Valtoha, Gulzar Singh Ranike and other local SAD leaders, the vehicles’ cavalcade took off from Bhandari Bridge and proceeded towards Governor’s House in Chandigarh.

“A memorandum would be submitted to the Punjab Governor urging the Centre government and the President of India to repeal the Farm Act. For the purpose, a special session of both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha be called up to roll back ‘kaale kanoon” (black laws) that have been designed to ruin the farming community,” he said.

Snubbing Rajya Sabha MP Shwait Malik over his claims that SAD leadership was taken into confidence when the three farm bills were tabled in the Parliament and that Sukhbir Badal and Union minister Harsimrat Badal had endorsed them with their signatures, but overnight annulled the ties for the “self- interest”, he said, “If it was true, then show our signatures. We were put in the dark. We were never asked and no meeting of Cabinet was held before passing the kaale kanoon.Rather, we had submitted in writing certain clauses that have to be part of the bills. We were falsely assured that these would be incorporated in the bills. That’s why we decided to part ways,” he said.

SAD started to march in farmers’ interest from three Takhts-Akal Takht, (Amritsar), Takht Damdama Sahib (Bathinda) under the leadership of Harsimrat Badal and Takht Kesgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib led by former MP Prem Singh Chandumajra.

Terming it as a mere ‘political drama’ the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee’s state general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher said that the SAD had attempted to play the ‘Panthic card’ trying to streamline it dwindling political graph.

“All political parties have scheduled the ‘parallel’ protest march to ours for political gains and even divided dates in such a manner so that they should face no hurdle in acquiring political mileage. What was the purpose of starting off kisan march from religious platforms which have no connection with the agrarian crisis that we have been facing?”

He said that the same Akali Dal used to speak in favour of Centre’s farm bill policies.

“Already cornered by sacrilege incidents and drug menace, when Akal Dal saw the mass agitation from farmers which could root them totally out of their political pitch in the state, they quit the alliance with NDA and Centre ministry to save their skin. But they forget that farmers could not be befooled by these tactics now. Similarly, how could we forget that the Congress was responsible for anti-Sikh moves, be it Operation Blue Star or 84 riots”, he said.

Pandher said that all the political party leaders were the ‘puppets’ of Corporate houses.

“They had enacted drama of opposing the bills by even tearing the copies in the Parliament. Later, they gave up on the pretext that the BJP commanded majority whereas our finding was that they had deliberately resisted their MPs to attend the session as per the directions of the Corporate houses,: he said.



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