India / NDA only in name, no meeting called by PM in last 10 years: Badal

Zoom News : Sep 28, 2020, 04:55 PM
New Delhi: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal has said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had lost its credibility over the years and was an alliance only in name.

Talking to The Indian Express, Badal said, “For the last 7, 8, 10 years or so, NDA is just in name. There is nothing in the NDA. No discussion, no planning, no meetings. I don’t remember a day in last 10 years when the Prime Minister called NDA meeting for lunch to discuss what they have in mind. Alliances should not be on paper… Before this, during Vajpayee’s time, there used to be a proper relationship. My father is a founder member of the NDA… It’s sad that we created the NDA but the NDA is not there today.”

Badal’s attack on the NDA comes a day after breaking ties with it in protest against the new farm bills, which became law after President Ramnath Kovind’s assent on Sunday. The SAD has been the BJP’s oldest ally but said the farm bills are anti-Punjab and anti-farmer.

Saying the Akalis have always taken the BJP along in the state, Badal said, “Alliances should be run the way my father Parkash Singh Badal did. For every decision, he would call the BJP. Whenever we went to the Governor to submit any memorandum, the BJP would be with us. We are the majority partner (in the state) and they are minority partner. Despite that, we took them into confidence for everything.”

On reports that the Congress government in Punjab is considering a move to declare the entire state a principal market yard, Sukhbir said it would be good if they declared the entire state so proposed by the Akali Dal. Badal said the Akali Dal is for farmers and its interest is not to play games. If Congress does not do what the SAD felt is right, the Akali Dal will itself do it when it returns to power, he said.

Farmers across the country have been protesting against the laws. In Punjab, farmers staged a rail roko from September 24 to September 26 which has now been extended to September 29.

On the state BJP’s assertions that had Badal Senior been in command, he would have shown “farsightedness to save the alliance”, Sukhbir said, “This (exiting the NDA) was the unanimous decision of the party. When Harsmirat Badal resigned from the (Modi) Cabinet, I had said that the party will meet and take a decision. The party met yesterday and we took the decision.”