New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Shiromani Akali Dal on Saturday evening announced that it has decided to pull out of the BJP-led NDA amid differences over the contentious agricultural bills that were passed in the Parliament in this Monsoon Session.

In a statement, the Akali Dal said that it has tried to gain the attention of the central government over the farm bills but has been continuously ignored, adding that it will continue to stand by its core principles of peace, communal harmony and guard the interest of Punjab and Punjabi in general, and Sikhs and farmers in particular.

"Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has decided to pull out of BJP-led NDA alliance because of the Centre's stubborn refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of farmers crops on MSP and its continued insensitivity to Punjabi and Sikh issues," the Akal Dal said in a statement, as reported by news agency ANI.

With this, the SAD becomes the third major NDA ally to pull out of the grouping after the Shiv Sena and the TDP.

Announcing the decision, Sukhbir Singh Badal said that all leaders in the party's core committee were unanimous in deciding that it can longer be part of the BJP-led NDA, adding that it has request President Ram Nath Kovind "to stand with the farmers".  

"We were ignored and Harsimrat Kaur Badal immediately resigned as Union Minister in protest," party president Sukhbir Singh Badal said.

SAD was one of the oldest allies of the BJP and has supported it on loads of issues. However, the difference between the two sides had increased over the three farm bills -- Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020; Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 -- which were passed by the Parliament this month.

Amid the differences over the farm bills, SAD's only leader in the Modi Cabinet -- Harsimrat Kaur Badal -- also resigned as Union Minister in protest. Harsimrat had said that had resigned from the Union Cabinet in protest against anti-farmer ordinances and legislation. "Proud to stand with farmers as their daughter and sister," she wrote in a Tweet after giving her resignation.   

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma