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Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday urged the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) to set their political compulsions aside and follow their heart in the interest of the state and its farmers on the issue of the farm sector Ordinances of the central government.

Recalling that he had made the same plea to the Akalis during the all-party meeting, the Chief Minister lamented that SAD was not realising the grave implications of these Ordinances and was putting its political interests before the interests of the state. He warned that if SAD continues to put its political interests above those of the state, it would end up ruining Punjab.

Stressing that there should be no politics when it came to issues of Punjab’s interests, Captain Amarinder recalled that, during his first tenure as the chief minister, he had abrogated the water agreements with neighbouring states to save Punjab’s water from being taken out via the proposed SYL canal. Not only had he gone against his own party on the issue, but had put his entire career on stake with this move, he recalled, adding that “Punjab’s interests are paramount for him, as they should be for the Akalis too.”

Pointing out that the three Ordinances in question are based on the recommendations of the Shanta Kumar committee, which had advocated end of MSP and dismantling of FCI, the Chief Minister said during today’s edition of his Facebook Live #AskCaptain session that if the Ordinances are allowed to be passed and enacted, the Centre will get the green signal to interfere in the state subject of Agriculture for all times. It will encourage the Government of India to go ahead and take whatever decisions they want on the subject, including implementing all recommendations of the Shanta Kumari committee, he said.

While the Ordinances may not have explicitly mentioned the MSP regime, it was clear that they would pave the way for abolition of MSP, warned Captain Amarinder, adding that the all-party meeting had been convened by him to evolve a consensus against the anti-Punjab and anti-farmer steps taken by the central government.

The Chief Minister once again urged SAD chief to stop indulging in politics on this issue of critical interest to the state, and stand with the state government in protecting the people and farmers of Punjab from the devastating impact of the Ordinances.

Instead of backtracking on his party’s support to two of the three points of the resolution adopted at the all-party meeting, Sukhbir should, in fact, come out in full and categorical support of the entire resolution, in letter and in spirit, said Captain Amarinder. Pointing out that the Akalis had always promoted the spirit of federalism, he further urged Sukhbir to join hands with the state government in ensuring that the federal structure embodied in the Indian Constitution is not allowed to be destroyed.

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