New Delhi, Sep 17 : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) failed to stop Harsimrat Kaur Badal from exiting the Narendra Modi-led NDA government, even as it had roped in its key strategists to prevent the exit of the lone Akali Dal minister.
This is the first resignation in Modi government 2.0.
Harsimrat Kaur, who was the Minister for Food Processing, belongs to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) — one of the oldest constituents of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.
In a tweet, she said: “I have resigned from the Union Cabinet in protest against anti-farmer ordinances and legislation. Proud to stand with farmers as their daughter and sister.”
She called the agriculture-related bills introduced in the Monsoon Session of Parliament “anti-farmer”.
Harsimrat Kaur, in her resignation submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, described her party and farmers as synonymous with each other, and that it could not compromise on the interests of farmers.
Even as the BJP was constantly trying to convince Harsimrat Kaur and the SAD, it did not succeed.
In a press conference on Wednesday, BJP President J.P. Nadda had said that the party had held talks with the SAD over the agriculture-related bills and that confusion is being spread over the bills.
He also said that party is in talks with its ally and all the confusion would be cleared.
However, on Thursday, Harsimrat Kaur walked out of the cabinet as the bills were introduced in the Lok Sabha.
The SAD was opposing all three bills related to agricultural reforms right from the beginning. Its Rajya Sabha Chief Whip Naresh Gujral on Wednesday had directed the party MPs to vote against them.
BJP sources told IANS that talks were on between the party strategists and the SAD over the issue, and that the party had engaged a leader of its Punjab unit for negotiations along with its ally.
The BJP hoped that through negotiations, it would convince the SAD to vote in favour of the agricultural bills.