Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has called the Shiromani Akali Dal's move to quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as nothing more than a "desperate case of political compulsion" for the Badals. The Chief Minister said the Badals were "effectively left with no other option after the BJP's public criticism of the SAD over the farm bills".
The highest decision-making body of the Akali Dal at a meeting tonight decided unanimously to pull out of the BJP-led NDA because of the centre's "stubborn refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of farmers' crops on minimum support price".
The meeting was presided over by Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal and the decision to quit the NDA came at the end of the meeting that went on for over three hours.
Amarinder Singh said there was "no moral high ground involved in this decision" of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
"The Akalis had no choice before them, since the BJP had already made it clear that it held SAD responsible for failing to convince farmers about the goodness of the agriculture bills. The SAD's decision to quit NDA was just the culmination of their saga of lies and deception, which eventually led to their being cornered on the issue of the bills," said the Chief Minister.
"Sukhbir Singh Badal was caught between the devil and the deep sea after his initial unprincipled stand on the farm ordinances, followed by the sudden U-turn in the face of farmer protests," Amarinder Singh said.
"The Akalis will now find themselves in a bigger political mess now, having been left with no place either in Punjab or at the centre," Amarinder Singh said.
The Akali Dal becomes the third major NDA ally to pull out of the grouping after the Shiv Sena and the Telugu Desam Party in recent years.
Sukhbir Singh Badal said the Akali Dal was the oldest ally of the BJP, but the centre did not listen to it in honouring the sentiments of farmers.