Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has returned his Padma Vibhushan award to protest against what he called was the ‘betrayal of farmers’ by the Centre’s Narendra Modi government. His decision to return the Padma award came days after his party snapped ties with the BJP and his daughter-in-law, Harsimrat Singh Badal, resigned from the government, where she was a minister.
The veteran Akali leader said in a statement, “I am who I am because of the people, especially the common farmer. Today when he has lost more than his honour, I see no point in holding on to the Padma Vibhushan honour.”
A statement by his party said that Badal had returned ‘the Padma Vibhushan award in protest against the betrayal of the farmers by the Government of India and against the shocking indifference and contempt with which the government is treating the ongoing peaceful and democratic agitation of the farmers against the three farm Acts.’
Meanwhile, according to news agency ANI, Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic) chief and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa has also announced that he will return his Padma Bhushan award in protest against farm laws.
Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic) chief and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (file photo) announces to return Padma Bhushan award in protest against farm laws, his office says pic.twitter.com/w6Gcq72lzP
— ANI (@ANI) December 3, 2020
Thousands of farmers from many states including Punjab have been camping near the Delhi-Haryana border demanding the withdrawal of the three controversial Farm Laws. Another BJP ally, the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party, too has threatened to quit the NDA if the controversial laws were withdrawn.