"I have truly begun to wonder why has the Government become so heartless, so cynical and so ungrateful towards the farmers,” Parkash Singh Badal added.

 Akali stalwart and former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal raising his hand to his forehead
news Politics Thursday, December 03, 2020 - 16:19

Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal returns the Padma Vibhushan award he received from the government in protest against the treatment of the protesting farmers by the government. In his letter to the President Ram Nath Kovind, he wrote that he has decided to return the Padam Vahushan award in protest against the “betrayal of the farmers” by the Union government and against the “shocking indifference and contempt with which the Govt is treating the ongoing peaceful and democratic agitation against the Farm Acts.”

“I just cannot put in words the emotional stress which I have been going through since then I have truly begun to wonder why has the Government become so hearties so cynical and so ungrateful towards the farmers,” Parkash Singh Badal added. 

“The farmers are out on the streets battling police batons, tear gas shells and water cannons. They have come to the national capital from all over the country, leaving their fields, crops and even their families and travelled long distances-thousands of kilometers in some cases-to get the attention of the government” the 92-year-old added in his letter.

Mentioning the corporate loans that had been waived off by the government, Badal asked why no one had ever thought of extending the same for farmers; such as subsiding the farm debts or introducing schemes like One Time Settlement (OTS) or at least waiving off the interest and staggering the principal repayment amount.

He further added that farmer-friendly parties like his own party, the Shiromani Akali Dal, that pulled out of the NDA over the farmers’ protest were mocked when they requested for debt relief to farmers in overall national interest.

The 92-year old said he is “deeply pained by the communal insinuations” being levelled against the farmers who are staging protests, referring to the allegations that some of the protesting farmers are ‘Khalistani supporters. “I can assure you that they have secular ethos running in their blood and are the best guarantee for safeguarding the country's secular democratic values and character which faces serious challenges from some other quarters,” he said. 

Prakash Singh Badal had received the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award in India, in 2015.

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