Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi
File Photo

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Badal on Saturday asked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to tell Punjabis why he had played a "fixed match" to facilitate the passage of the three "anti-farmer" agricultural Bills in Parliament.

He also asked the Congress leader if he supported the clean chit given to Punjab's Social Welfare Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in the Scheduled Castes scholarship scam.

Addressing the media here, Sukhbir said before indulging in photo ops in Punjab on Sunday, Rahul should tell Punjabis why he had betrayed their cause and initiated the process to make the Bills a reality.

"I want to ask Rahul five questions. Did your party's 2017 election manifesto in Punjab say that you will open private 'mandis' and give permission for e-trading the contract farming which is in force now? If so, why haven't you repealed the amended APMC Act in Punjab till now?"

"Did you in your 2019 election manifesto state that you will abolish the APMC Act altogether and make agriculture trade free from all restrictions? Why did you choose to leave the country one day before the Bills were to be taken up in Parliament and come back the day they became Acts?

"Also why didn't you issue a whip to your MPs to vote against the Bills and field senior leaders to oppose them?"

About the clean chit given to minister Dharamsot despite being indicted in an inquiry conducted by an Additional Chief Secretary, Sukhbir said Rahul should tell the Dalit community in Punjab whether he was in agreement with this action.

"Rahul should also tell if he is in agreement with the Chief Minister's decision to give an open licence to Congress ministers to loot central funds sent for distribution to SC students."

The SAD President also rejected the re-inquiry ordered by the Chief Minister in the case, saying an officer junior to the Additional Chief Secretary had been deputed to exonerate Dharamsot.

"Now the government is saying that only Rs 7 crore has been embezzled, yet no action has been taken in the matter. I only wish to state that if Sadhu Singh Dharamsot who looted Rs 69 crore has been found to be innocent then a case should be registered against Additional Chief Secretary Kripa Shankar Saroj who indicted him for embezzling the SC scholarship funds," he added.

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Free Press Journal