Harsimrat Kaur Badal, leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal, has opposed the use of “force” at the farm law protests near the Haryana state border on November 26, calling it the “murder of democracy on Constitution Day.” It was reported that police employed the use of water cannons and tear gas to disrupt the ‘Delhi Chalo’ march farmers across India have organised to protest the centre’s recent Farm Laws. Badal, opposing the bills that made these laws, had quit her role as the Food Processing Industries Minister in September this year.
In a tweet, Badal stood in solidarity with the farmers headed to the national capital and appealed to authorities to let farmers continue their peace march. Marking today a “black day,” Badal was also quoted saying, “The BJP-led central government is treating farmers as an enemy of the State. We witnessed the same treatment when Punjabis were stopped from going to Delhi during the Asiad Games. Such repressive tactics can have very dangerous repercussions as we have seen in the past.”
Murder of democracy on #ConstitutionDay!
Farmers' voices stifled, water canons used on annnadata! I appeal to PM @narendramodi ji to direct Hry CM @mlkhattar ji to let our farmers' march on peacefully to convey their issues to Centre in Delhi. I stand in solidarity with them.
— Harsimrat Kaur Badal (@HarsimratBadal_) November 26, 2020
Harsimrat Kaur Badal Steps Down From Cabinet
Following Badal’s resignation from the central cabinet in September, the SAD had also quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over the farm legislation issue. Badal’s SAD was the third major NDA member to pull out of the grouping after the Shiv Sena and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) amid protests over the contentious farm bills that cleared the parliament in September.
The controversial laws, which as per Hindustan Times are “aimed at freeing up farm trade from restrictions, at guaranteeing a legal framework for pre-agreed prices, and at laying down a new architecture for contract farming,” have instilled a fear in farmers over possible loss of livelihood. Calling them “anti-farmer,” Badal has consistently extended support to farmers.
— Harsimrat Kaur Badal (@HarsimratBadal_) November 25, 2020
Who Is Harsimrat Kaur Badal?
Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who has a bachelor’s degree in textile designing, is a legislator from Bathinda, Punjab, and is a member of SAD. Known for her fiery speeches, Badal started her political career in 2009 during the 15th Lok Sabha election. She comes from the family of Attar Singh Majithia, who was a prominent general in Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army. Badal gave her first speech in the year 2009 where she spoke about the victims and survivors of the 1984 Sikh riots.
Badal’s husband and SAD chief Sukhbir Badal, had also stepped down from the cabinet in protest of the “legislation seeking to liberalise agricultural markets,” HT reported. The couple actively protested against Lok Sabha’s decision to pass the three farm bills — Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020; The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.