Five-time Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday to “show magnanimity” and immediately scrap the three controversial agriculture laws “as a first step” towards resolution of the ongoing stalemate between farmers and the government.
“The scars of wounds already inflicted will take a long time to heal,” he said in a letter to the Prime Minister.
Mr. Badal also demanded “100% procurement of farmers’ produce at Minimum Support Price [fixed according to the Swaminathan Formula, C2+50] and that this be made a statutory legal right of the farmer.” He emphasised the “the need for a liberal, secular democratic approach to solving all the problems facing the country.”
Mr. Badal said there was a need for making India a truly federal country. “The roots of the ongoing crisis lie in the abdication of our commitment to the federal approach,” he said. “The farmers’ crisis is not the only instance where this inclusive approach to nation-building has been ignored or abandoned. The country and its government need to follow an approach based on widespread consultation and consensus. The scars left by our failure to do so in the recent divisive and destabilising moments will take a long time to heal.”
Politics of confrontation had fractured the social fabric, Mr. Badal wrote. “Consultation, conciliation and consensus are the foundation of any democracy. Consultative processes alone lead to consensus, and consensus alone is the recipe for avoiding confrontations like the one we see now between the government and the farmers.
“The three Acts in question that have pushed the country into deep turmoil must be withdrawn without making the farmers and their families endure any more suffering in this biting cold. The issue does not concern farmers alone, but affects the entire economic fabric of the country, as traders, businessmen, shopkeepers, arhtiyas [commission agents] and labour are also directly affected by it.”