Former Punjab Chief Minister and the National Democratic Alliance ally Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday returned Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award, amid ongoing farmers’ protest. Badal on behalf NDA’s ally Shiromani Akali Dal has registered their protest against the government’s betrayal of farmers.
Akali Dal Chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said the decision to quit the NDA was taken because of the Centre’s stubborn refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of farmers crops on MSP.
With this, Badal became the first to return his award against the Centre’s treatment on protesting farmers. Badal has awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2015. Opposing the Centre’s treatment against the protesting farmers, Parkash Singh Badal said despite this award, he does not have much else to sacrifice to express solidarity with the farmers’ cause.
A group of sportspersons and coaches from Punjab have also announced to return their awards in solidarity with the farmers protest. Earlier on Wednesday famous wrestling star ‘The Great Khali’ had extended his support to the protesting farmers and have seen with farmers raising sloagan in the farmers protest. Also, the Olympic hockey player and Arjuna awardee Sajjan Singh Cheema had said they have been holding peaceful agitation for several months but water cannons and teargas shells were used against them in the name of solution.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday asked Amit Shah to resolve the problem as it affects the economy of the Punjab and the security of the nation. He also announced five lakh rupees of financial assistance to the families of the two farmers who died during ongoing Farm law protest.
Several popular faces from the Punjab entertainment industry have also extended their support to the protesting farmers. Singer Jazzy B, Amrinder Gill, Gippy Grewal, Karamjit Anmol and comedian-actor Gurpreet Ghuggi have posted messages supporting the protesters.