Union Food Processing Industries Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from the Narendra Modi cabinet on Thursday (September 17) over the farm sector bills moved by the government, reported NDTV.
The party has been facing flak from the farmers in Punjab for initially supporting the bills. There’d been protests in Punjab and Haryana against these bills. According to the report, Badal resigned shortly before the voting on the bills.
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, however, said that the Akalis will continue supporting the government from outside.
He had announced the Union minister’s resignation in his speech during the discussion on two of the farm bills — the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill.
In his speech, he had said the proposed laws will “destroy” the 50 years of hard work done by successive Punjab governments to build the farm sector.
He recalled Punjab’s massive contribution in making India self-sufficient in food grain production as he vehemently opposed the bills. “I announce that Harsimrat Kaur Badal will resign from the government,” he said in Lok Sabha.
She was the only SAD representative in the Modi government. The Punjab party is the oldest BJP ally.