SAD Quits NDA: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), one of the oldest allies of Bharatiya Janata Party, has decided to pull out of BJP-led NDA alliance over its differences with the Centre over agrarian reform bills.

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The party led by Sukhbir Singh Badal said in a statement that it has decided to part ways with the NDA  because of the centre’s stubborn refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of farmers crops on MSP & its continued insensitivity to Punjabi and Sikh issues.

With this SAD becomes the third major NDA ally to pull out of the grouping after the Shiv Sena and the TDP.

Party chief Badal said the SAD will continue to stand by its core principles of peace, communal harmony and guard the interest of Punjab and Punjabi in general, and Sikhs and farmers in particular. He said the decision has been taken in consultation with the people of Punjab, especially party workers and farmers.

Badal said the Bills on agricultural marketing brought by the BJP-led government are lethal and disastrous for the already beleaguered farmers.

Sukhbir Badal’s wife and SAD’s lone minister in Modi cabinet Harsimrat Kaur had resigned from her post 10 days ago to protest against the farm bills. When Kaur resigned, opposition parties dubbed it as SAD’s ‘eyewash’ as the party was still a part of the NDA. Badal had said that the decision on whether to stay with NDA or not would be taken in party’s core committee. Ten days on, the party has announced its decision of parting ways with its over 30 years old traditional ally.

The news comes as a major jolt to the saffron party already facing backlash from the opposition over the contentious farm bills.

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