Former Punjab Chief Minister and veteran Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday returned his Padma Vibhushan Award to protest “the betrayal of the farmers by government of India”. This comes month after the Shiromani Akali Dal parted ways with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over the then farm bills. According to a party statement released in September, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said the decision to quit the NDA was taken because of the Centre’s stubborn refusal to give statutory legislative guarantees to protect assured marketing of farmers crops on MSP. Also Read - Vaccination Against COVID-19 Begins in India, Bailey Bridge on Jammu-Srinagar Highway Opens After 1 Week: Top Headlines at This Hour

Reacting to Parkash Singh Badal’s decision, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal said, “Parkash Singh Badal fought for farmers for his entire life. He returned his award to send a strong message to the government. Farmers don’t need these laws so why the Government of India is forcing them on farmers?”. Also Read - New Vistadome Jan Shatabdi Express For Ahmedabad to Kevadia From Today | In Pictures

Earlier, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) blamed the Centre for failure of talks with the farmer leaders, saying it was deliberately prolonging and deepening the farmers’ problems with an aim of tiring them out. The government suggested setting up a committee to look into issues raised by farmers protesting against new farm laws, but it was rejected by representatives of 35 agitating organisations during their marathon meeting with three union ministers that ended without any resolution. Also Read - PM Modi Launches India's Vaccination Drive, Gets Emotional as he Thanks Frontline Workers | Top Quotes From His Address to Nation

The meeting at Vigyan Bhawan in the national capital remained inconclusive and the government has called for another round of discussions on Thursday, December 3, farmer union leaders said.

The SAD, which had quit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over the new farm legislation in September, cautioned the farmers’ organisations against alleged conspiracies to trap them with misleading and vague commitments through tricks like setting up a committee .

Setting up a committee is merely a part of the delaying tactics to tire the farmers out , the party alleged in a release. But this shows how little does the BJP know about the strength, stamina and staying power of our brave farmers, senior Akali leaders Balwinder Singh Bhunder and Sikandar Singh said in a joint statement issued.