Punjab: Showing a gesture in support to the farmers protesting against the new agricultural laws at Delhi borders, Parkash Singh Badal, the former Chief Minister of Punjab withdrew his Padma Vibhushan Award, which he was conferred in 2015, accusing the Central government of ‘betraying’ the farmers.
Badal’s decision came following the Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s meeting with Central Home Minister Amit Shah. In the meeting, Singh urged Shah to resolve the issues regarding the farm laws at the earliest.
Badal, aged 92, is the first CM to have withdrawn his Padma Award. His party Shiromani Akali Dal or SAD (the oldest ally of the NDA) had already withdrawn from the alliance months ago when the three contentious farm laws were passed by the central government.
On Thursday, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh termed the farmers’ protests as a ‘national security issue’ and requested both the Centre and the protestors to reach a cordial solution. “Discussion is going on between farmers and Centre, there’s nothing for me to resolve. I reiterated my opposition in my meeting with Home Minister and requested him to resolve the issue as it affects the economy of my state and the security of the nation,” – stated Singh after the meeting with the Home Minister.