Headlines September 19, 2020
Key BJP ally to review membership in national coalition
The oldest ally of the BJP, Shiromani Akali Dal says it will relook at its membership in the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA). This was said by the party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal after his wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned as a union minister. She resigned in protest against the government’s agricultural bills that have caused massive resentment among the farmers, an important voter base for the party.
“From the Day One when the ordinances were brought into the cabinet, Harsimrat Kaur Badal strongly opposed it and put forward her views that the people of Punjab are concerned with the ordinances. Especially, the farmers should be consulted. But they passed it,” he told the media.
He said his party initially supported the bill as they were an ally but now it had changed its mind. “We are sad that the government of India brought this bill without a dot of change. You cannot be a part of the government which has not looked into the rights of the farmers. We spent two months trying to convince the government. But now since the bill is done, we cannot go back”.
Given this situation, Mr Badal said his party would meet to decide on whether it would stay with the NDA. “We are the founder members of the NDA. But with the situation, our party will meet. We will look at the situation”.
The three bills sailed through Lok Sabha as the opposition parties walked out.
The bills – which the BJP claims is important to reform the agriculture sector have upset the farmers of Punjab and Haryana, who have been holding protests for weeks, saying that the changes will hit their earnings.
The SAD initially supported the laws but made a change after realising the extent of the farmer’s anger.
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