Birthday Diplomacy: Modi Greets Parkash Singh Badal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday spoke to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patron Parkash Singh Badal over phone and extended best wishes on his birthday, sources said.

Last week, Badal, the five-time chief minister of Punjab, returned the Padma Vibhushan award “in protest” against the “betrayal of the farmers by the Government of India” and for the “shocking indifference and contempt” with which the government is treating the ongoing peaceful and democratic agitation of the farmers.

Badal’s party SAD also broke ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the Central government brought farm Bills and got them passed at the Parliament. Badal’s daughter-in-law and party leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal also resigned from the Union Cabinet regarding this issue.

Parkash Singh Badal on Monday wrote to PM Modi seeking his “personal intervention” in reaching a solution to get the stalemate broken ahead of December 8 ‘Bharat Bandh’ call given by the farmers who are protesting against farm laws.

The SAD is among those parties, which have supported the Bharat Bandh.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting on different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws — Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Leaders of farmer groups have held several rounds of talks with the government but all of them remained inconclusive so far. After the fifth round of talks, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has called another meeting on December 9. (ANI)

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