Akali Dal to boycott President’s address to joint session

Says Centre unmoved by suffering of farmers

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday announced it would boycott the President’s address to the joing session of Parliament on Friday to protest against Centre’s new farm laws.

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Senior party leaders including MPs Balwinder Singh Bhundur and Naresh Gujral said, “The SAD is a party of farmers.”

In a statement, the party said, “We have always stood up for the cause of the farming community. In the present situation when the central government is unmoved by the suffering of the community which has been agitating since months against the Agri Acts, we feel there is no responsibility on our part to attend the President’s address and hence we are boycotting the same.”

Senior party leader Prem Singh Chandumajra told reporters the SAD and its president Sukhbir Singh Badal had been in contact with senior leaders from like-minded regional parties.

“We have reached out to the Trinamool Congress, DMK and the Shiv Sena besides others. We all feel that the Agri laws which were bulldozed through parliament in the last session are not only unconstitutional but also anti-people. We also feel that the central government is encroaching upon the powers of the States by legislating on an issue which was a State subject”.

Sixteen opposition parties, including the Congress and NCP, had earlier in the day issued a statement announcing their decision to boycott the President’s address.

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