There has been a big turn in the politics of Punjab regarding the passage of agricultural bills in the Central Government’s Parliament. The 24-year-old SAD-BJP alliance has broken in Punjab. The Shiromani Akali Dal has decided to break away from the NDA and the BJP on the issue of agricultural bills. The party had earlier disassociated itself from the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned as the cabinet minister.
The three parties jointly ran the government in Punjab three times, completing the term each time:
The 24-year-old association of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal is broken over the issue of agricultural bills. The BJP’s oldest ally, SAD, decided to break away from the BJP in the party’s core committee. The Shiromani Akali Dal is the second oldest party after the Sena to break away from the BJP. These were the two parties that have been with the BJP for the longest time.
Especially the relationship between the Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP was very cordial. The two parties together formed the government in Punjab three times and each completed a full five-year term. Relations between the Akali Dal and the BJP have been seen as more social harmony than political. The Akali-BJP alliance was formed in Punjab in 1997 and the Akali Dal became part of the NDA some 22 years ago.
Sukhbir said, cannot remain a part of an alliance that implements its decisions with disgust:
In fact, the foundation of the alliance collapsed the same day when Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal protested against the agricultural bills and asked the Union Cabinet to resign Harsimrat Kaur Badal. After Harsimrat Badal’s resignation from the Union Cabinet, the Akali Dal was under constant pressure to separate from the BJP and the NDA. Saturday took this decision in the core committee, which lasted for about three and a half hours.
After the meeting, party chief Sukhbir Badal said in a conversation with journalists that the NDA government has decided to kill the farmers by bringing an agriculture bill. The shocking central government that first passed it in the Lok Sabha and later in the Rajya Sabha has been seen by all. So we decided to come out of the Union Cabinet.
Sukhbir said, while taking the decision to come out of the government, I said that we will go to the public to decide the strategy ahead. After negotiating with party workers, senior party leaders for several days, it was decided not to be part of such an alliance which is implementing its decisions with bungling.
Not only the Agriculture Bill, but also the demand for giving second language status to the Punjabi language in Jammu and Kashmir:
He said that the Akali Dal had demanded that there are many Punjabi speaking people in Jammu, not only in the Agriculture Bill but also in giving second language status to Punjabi language in Jammu and Kashmir. But the government did not listen to us. Even Mary (Sukhbir) this demand was supported by National Conference leader Farooq Abdula. Despite this, the government included English in the official languages of Jammu and Kashmir and excluded Punjabi. In such a situation, we have no other option but to separate from the NDA.
Explain that the alliance of Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab was 22 years old. Both parties contested the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections together. The SAD was the target of the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party for an alliance with the BJP on the agricultural bills issue. The possibility of the NDA breaking up in Punjab was intensified after the BJP came out in support of the agricultural bills in Punjab and openly opposed by the SAD. The political equation in Punjab will also change with the assembly elections due in 2022 due to the break-up of the SAD and BJP.
Decision taken under compulsion, not morality: Captain
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh termed the decision of Shiromani Akali Dal to leave NDA as a decision taken in political compulsion and frustration. He said that there is no morality in this decision. The Akalis had no choice, as the BJP had already made it clear that the SAD failed to convince the farmers about the Agriculture Bill.