Food Processing Industries Minister, Harsimrat Kaur Badal stepped down in protest over the Agriculture Bill. Formerly serving as Union Minister, Badal quit the Narendra Modi cabinet as she was against the three farm sector bills that the Centre has recently introduced in the Parliament.

Announcing her resignation on Thursday, Badal took to Twitter and wrote: “I have resigned from Union Cabinet in protest against anti-farmer ordinances and legislation. Proud to stand with farmers as their daughter and sister.” President Ram Nath Kovind has also accepted her resignation.

Badal’s husband and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Badal, also stepped down from the cabinet in protest of the “legislation seeking to liberalise agricultural markets,” HT reported. Calling it “anti-farmer” bills, Badal was quoted by ANI saying, “I said the government should bring the bills after consultation with stakeholders. What is politics in this? Farmers are agitating not only in Punjab but also in Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Maharashtra. There is opposition in south India.”

Badal and her husband are protesting against Lok Sabha’s decision on Thursday 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.

In protest of the bills, various agriculture groups reportedly took to the streets in Punjab and Haryana. Many farmer organisations have said that “the bills would end the assured minimum support price regime for agriculture produce.”

In his speech, Singh said the recently introduced bills would “destroy” the five decades of hard work. “These bills have many provisions that go against farmers’ interests. We have repeatedly asked the government that please address the apprehensions of farmers, but the government had done nothing. Therefore, I oppose these bills,” Singh said.

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 defeated Congress candidate Raminder Singh by 1,20,960 votes, as per sources. After that, she was re-elected as an MP (Member of Parliament) in 2014 and won the Bathinda seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. On May 30 last year, she was appointed as a Cabinet Minister.

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.

In 2008, Badal started a campaign against female foeticide called “Nanhi Chhaan” (means innocent life) in Punjab. The initiative is an effort to raise awareness against the rampant female foeticide incidents in the state. Badal has often addressed the skewed sex ratio in Punjab and has launched various campaigns to save trees.

Badal reportedly runs her own private jewellery business in the Gurgaon’s Trident Hotel.

Also Read: Creating Awareness to Save The Girl Child, Dr Harshinder Kaur

Feature Image Credit: Business Standard

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