Amritsar, Punjab: Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar has urged Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to abide by the verdict of the Gujarat high court and immediately halt the eviction of Punjabi farmers from the Kutch region.
Makkar’s statement follows the assurance given by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal of taking up this issue with his Gujarat counterpart. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) despite being an important constituent of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has openly criticised the move of the BJP government of Gujarat to evict Punjabi farmers from the agricultural holdings.
In the statement issued here on Friday, Makkar said the move to deprive Punjabi farmers of their land holdings was not in the national interest, especially in the wake of the Gujarat high court verdict which had gone in favour of the farmers. “It is unfortunate that the Modi government has decided to challenge the high court verdict in the Supreme Court,” Makkar said.
Makkar pointed out that a number of Punjabi farmers had toiled on barren land in Kutch to turn it into a fertile tract, he added. “The Gujarat government should respect the hard work of these peasants and withdraw the eviction notices issued to them,” the SGPC chief said.
Makkar pointed out that he had written to Modi on this issue last year and now again he would make a similar appeal. He also appealed to Badal to take up this issue with Modi.
The SAD has deputed senior leader Balwant Singh Ramoowalia to meet Modi on this matter. Ramoowalia has met these farmers in the Capital.