Social activist Medha Patkar on Thursday said that former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's move of returning his Padma Vibhushan award in protest against the Centre's farm laws was a slap on the face of the Modi government.
Badal on Thursday returned his Padma award two months after his Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) pulled out of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre, protesting against the three laws which deregulate the sale of crops.
Talking to reporters while staging a protest along with different organisations of farmers and labourers at Regal Square in Indore, Patkar said, "We are thankful to him (Badal) and salute him. His move of returning the Padma award is a slap on the face of the government."
"We appeal to leading personalities from different fields to return their government awards to express solidarity with the farmers protesting against the new laws," the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader said.
"The new laws have given freedom to the corporates to indulge in profiteering and hoarding, and it will also lead to the problem of food security in the country," she alleged.
Patkar said the Centre should immediately withdraw these new agriculture laws and also frame rules to decide the MSP for forest produce, milk, fish, fruits and vegetables.
Ambani, Adani entry into agriculture sector to be more dangerous than virus: Patkar
Patkar said that the entry of billionaires like (Mukesh) Ambani and (Gautam) Adani into farm sector will be more dangerous than any virus or wild animals.
“Madhya Pradesh has suffered due to corporatization. Now, the country is also suffering because of it. If people like Ambani and Adani enter in farm sector, then they will also ruin it completely,” she said.
“With corporate entering into farming, the new zameedari system will start,” she added.