BJP’s Oldest Ally Shiromani Akali Dal Quits NDA

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The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the oldest ally of the BJP, on Saturday evening said it quitted the ruling party’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over the three controversial farm sector bills that were approved by the cabinet in the Parliament last week.

The SAD has now become the third major NDA member to pull out of the grouping after the Shiv Sena and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

“The highest decision-making body of the Shiromani Akali Dal core committee at its emergency meeting here tonight decided unanimously to pull out of the BJP -led NDA alliance,” Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said in Chandigarh, calling the bills “lethal and disastrous” for its key voter base of farmers, an NDTV report said.

“We quit NDA because of the centre’s stubborn refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of farmers crops on MSP (Minimum Support Price) and its continued insensitivity to Punjabi and Sikh issues like excluding Punjabi language as official language in Jammu and Kashmi,” he said

Badal said the Akalis will continue to stand by its core principles of peace, communal harmony and guard the interest of Punjab and Punjabis and Sikhs and farmers in particular. The decision has been taken in consultation with the people of Punjab, especially party workers and farmers, he added.

Badal’s wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal had resigned as a union minister in protest last week as the bills were pushed through parliament.

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