The bitter verbal exchange between the political stakeholders in Punjab over farmers’ protest continued unabated on Friday, with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh attacking former Union minister, Shiromani Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal, over the contentious farm laws passed by the Centre recently. “Is she illiterate that she can’t read?” Mr Singh said in a statement, pointing out that Ms Badal, who resigned when outrage against the laws mounted, was part of the union cabinet when they were passed.
Mr Singh also attacked SAD president Parkash Singh Badal. “All his life Parkash Singh Badal has been claiming that he represents the interests of the farmers. Then why did his party support the central Ordinances after initially opposing them, and then did an about-turn and started publicly criticising the legislations?” he said.
“I don’t know why Prakash Singh Badal got the Padma Bhushan in the first place,” Mr Singh quipped.
Ms Badal, in a counterattack, corrected the Chief Minister, saying Mr Badal had won the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award, not the third highest Padma Bhushan.
“Call me illiterate if that floats your boat, but I’m amused that you despite being so ‘literate’ don’t know the difference between Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan. Never mind! But calling our peacefully protesting Annadata a ‘threat to national security’ is highly shameful,” she tweeted.
Call me illiterate if that floats your boat @capt_amarinder,but I’m amused that u despite being so ‘literate’ don’t know the diff between #PadmaBhushan & #PadmaVibhushan.Never mind! But calling our peacefully protesting Annadata a ‘threat to national security’ is highly shameful.
— Harsimrat Kaur Badal (@HarsimratBadal_) December 4, 2020
Mr Singh on Thursday met Union Minister Amit Shah. Referring to the thousands of farmers from Punjab camping in and around Delhi with their demand to repeal the laws, Mr Singh said he told the minister that the protests affect the security of the nation.
The Punjab Chief Minister also attacked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal today for “twisting his statement on national security”. He said it was clearly made in reference to Pakistan and as Home Minister of Punjab, it was his duty to apprise the Union Home Minister of the dangers of the prolonged agitation.
“Kejriwal nu jhooth bolan di aadat hai, aur Khattar nu kuttan di (Kejriwal has the habit of lying and Khattar of thrashing),” he said.
Earlier this week, Mr Kejriwal had taken on Captain Singh, saying he has joined hands with the BJP and is upset that the AAP government has not converted the nine stadiums in the city to open jails.
The farmers protesting on the outskirts of Delhi against the Centre’s new agricultural laws have called a nationwide shutdown on Tuesday. This was after several rounds of talks with the Centre failed to break the deadlock.