Union Minister Harsimrat Badal submits resignation to PMO over centre’s new farm bills

Union food processing minister and Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Thursday resigned from the Cabinet in protest against the farmers’ related Bills the government has brought in.

Harsimrat Badal is the only SAD representative in the Modi government. The Punjab party is the oldest BJP ally.

While announcing the SAD’s decision to withdraw their minister from the Modi Cabinet, Sukhbir Badal said the SAD would continue to support the government and BJP, but will oppose the anti-farmer policies.

The SAD had been requesting the Centre not to go ahead with the three agriculture-related bills for approval of Parliament “until all reservations expressed by farmers’ organisations, farmers and farm labourers” are addressed.

On Tuesday, the SAD voted against the contentious farm bill that was passed in the Lok Sabha.

Sukhbir Singh Badal, participating in the debate, had described the bills as anti-farmer and said that the Centre never consulted his party before the ordinances were framed.

Three farm sector-related ordinances were cleared by the Union cabinet recently and the corresponding bills were tabled in Lok Sabha on Monday. One of them — the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020 — was taken up for a discussion and passed by a voice vote.

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