Ahead of launch of Capt’s party, Sodhi raises farm laws, tells Modi withdrawal won’t make BJP look weak

Sodhi, who was recently dropped from the Cabinet, issued a statement on farm laws Sunday, triggering curiosity with Congress leaders interpreting the statement in their own way.

AHEAD OF former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh floating his own political outfit, his closest aide and former Cabinet minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi on Sunday appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the farm laws.

Sources said Amarinder may formally launch his party on Wednesday. Patiala MP Preneet Kaur, who is also his wife, may also resign from Congress to join his party. Amarinder’s aides, it is learnt, have been calling up several leaders inviting them to join his party. Those who fear they may be ignored by Congress during distribution of tickets, may also look towards Amarinder’s party eventually.

Sodhi, who was recently dropped from the Cabinet, issued a statement on farm laws Sunday, triggering curiosity with Congress leaders interpreting the statement in their own way.

“The country has been witnessing the farmers protest for over a year now. While we have seen farmers stand united and determined to have their voices heard, there are also those hundreds of farmers who have lost their lives while fighting for their rights. It is most unfortunate that the protesting farmers continue to live in extreme conditions without essential and proper availability of sanitation and clean drinking water. Their persistence despite their continued plight has only shown their resolve that they will not settle down until a rational decision of repealing the controversial Farm Bills is agreed upon.”

Sodhi further wrote that he was requesting the PM to re-initiate talks with farmers and to withdraw the bills so that farmers can return to their homes before the onset of the harsh winter.

Also, considering that the festivities are approaching, it will only be fair that they celebrate the festival with their families and not on the roads, he added.

“Moreover, it is our basic empathy that they should be able to celebrate this Diwali with their families and the coming year with fulfillment and prosperity. Hence, if the central government waives the debts of small and marginal farmers, it would be a great and welcoming gesture on part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government.”

He further said: “I sincerely urge that the families of the farmers who sacrificed their lives during this protest are extended financial assistance of Rs 50 lakh alongwith free education for their surviving children. All the cases/FIRs filed against the farmers should be withdrawn with immediate effect to avoid any further mental, financial and physical harassment to their families.”

Sodhi said he was confident “that the farmers will welcome the decision of repealing these bills and will thank the Modi government with open hearts and without any malice”.

“I also like to add here that the withdrawal of these bills in no way would reflect the weakness of the central government as argued by certain sections of society, rather it would show that the central government to be large-hearted and magnanimous,” he added.

Sodhi, when contacted, said there was nothing to read into in his statement, adding that he had written it just because everybody appeared to be indulging in a blame game, thereby forgetting the farmers issues.

He said farmers were facing an exile for over a year now and they needed to return to their homes.

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