Chandigarh, October 8:

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday slammed SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal over his `fixed match’ allegation, terming it as totally absurd, and lambasting the Akalis for playing BJP’s game to ruin the state’s farmers.

“Who am I playing a fixed match with?” asked the Chief Minister, adding that after playing all those `fixed matches’ with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the Farm Laws issues, Sukhbir seemed to have become so obsessed with the phrase that he had even forgotten that a fixed match cannot be played solo.

If anyone is playing a fixed match, it is the SAD, which continues to act at the behest of the BJP, and in the interests of the NDA government at the Centre, even after ostensibly quitting it, said Captain Amarinder, citing the latest incident of the Akalis defending the BKU (Lakhowal) decision to withdraw their writ petition against the farm laws from the Supreme Court.

The Chief Minister also derided Sukhbir’s remark that the Akalis will compel his government to do anything, considering that, by their own admission, they had failed to persuade their own government at the Centre not to bring in the anti-farmer laws.

The Badals have made a laughing stock of themselves and their party with their senseless statements and outrageously false claims on the issue of the black agricultural laws, he said, pointing out that SAD’s own former ally, the BJP, had already publicly declared that the Akalis had fully supported the legislations from Day 1.

The Badals’ lies and double standards had been totally exposed not just to Punjab and its farmers but to the entire nation, Captain Amarinder said. Sukhbir was only compounding the Akalis’ ignominies with such blatantly shameful remarks, he added.

Pointing to the SAD chief’s remark that he (CM) had rejected Sukhbir’s suggestion on calling a special session for a state legislation to negate the farm laws, Captain Amarinder said there was no question of accepting or rejecting a suggestion made after he himself had categorically announced that he was exploring that option. “In any case, who is Sukhbir to give a suggestion to the state government after he openly refused to support us in rejecting the farm ordinances during the all-party meeting, and asked his MLAs to stay away from the Vidhan Sabha session at which we passed a resolution against them?’ the Chief Minister asked.

He also ridiculed Sukhbir’s allegation of the state government deliberately delaying bringing in a state legislation to counter the Centre’s farm laws, saying that as a chief minister who had always stood for the rights of the farmers, he was doing what was in the best interests of the farming community. The people of Punjab know who they can trust and who they cannot, the Chief Minister added.

It was his responsibility, said Captain Amarinder, to not take hasty decisions that could backfire on the farmers, but to find fool-proof ways, that will stand legal scrutiny, of countering the Centre’s draconian legislations. But naturally, he did not expect Sukhbir to understand or appreciate that, since the Badals had never believed in acting in the interests of any section of the people of Punjab, he added. The Akalis had ruined the farmers for 10 years, in collusion with the BJP, during their 10-year regime, and were now leaving no stone unturned to destroy the farm sector itself to appease their political masters, he added.

Captain Amarinder further quipped that for a man who had never shown any loyalty to the people of his own state, Sukhbir’s talk of loyalty was ridiculous to the extreme. The Badals’ double-speak had been exposed all too often for the people to accept any of their claims or counter-claims as the truth, he added.

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