The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has pulled out of the Bharatiya Janata Dal-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition at the Centre over the passage of contentious farm bills passed in Parliament earlier this month, the Punjab party’s president Sukhbir Singh Badal announced on Saturday.
All the leaders of the party’s core committee were unanimous in deciding that the SAD can longer be part of the NDA, said Sukhbir Singh Badal.
“Shiromani Akali Dal core committee decides unanimously to pull out of the BJP-led #NDA because of the Centre’s stubborn refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of crops on #MSP and its continued insensitivity to Punjabi and #Sikh issues,” Badal, whose party has been one of the oldest allies of the BJP, tweeted.
Also Read: Harsimrat Kaur Badal quits Cabinet over farm bills
The announcement came days after SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned as the minister of food processing industries from the Union Cabinet to protest against the government pushing through the farm bills seeking to liberalise agricultural markets in Parliament. She had resigned on September 17.
However, while announcing the SAD’s decision to withdraw its only representative from the Narendra Modi Cabinet, Sukhbir Singh Badal had said the party will continue to support the government and the BJP but will oppose “anti-farmer policies”.
Also read: Failed to convince govt about farmers’ grouse: Harsimrat Kaur Badal
On Saturday, Sukhbir Singh Badal said the SAD will continue to stand by its core principles of peace, communal harmony and guard the interest of Punjab and Punjabi in general, and Sikhs and farmers in particular, according to news agency PTI. He said the decision has been taken in consultation with the people of Punjab, especially party workers and farmers, PTI reported.
Badal said the bills on agricultural sector brought by the BJP-led government are “lethal and disastrous” for the already beleaguered farmers. He said the SAD was the oldest ally of the BJP, but the government did not listen to it in honouring the sentiments of farmers.
The SAD is the third major NDA ally to pull out of the coalition after the Shiv Sena and the Telegu Desam Party (TDP).