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Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa to return Padma Bhushan

Dhindsa was presented the Padma Bhushan by President Ram Nath Kovind in March 2019

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India]: After former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic) chief and rebel Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa on Thursday announced that he would be returning his Padma Bhushan award in solidarity with the farmers who are protesting central farm laws.

Dhindsa was presented the Padma Bhushan by President Ram Nath Kovind in March 2019. Earlier in the day, SAD patriarch Badal, former Union Minister and five-time Chief Minister of Punjab returned the Padma Vibhushan award “in protest” against the “betrayal of the farmers by the Government of India” and for the “shocking indifference and contempt” with which the government is treating the ongoing peaceful and democratic agitation of the farmers.

“I am who I am because of the people, especially the common farmer. Today when he has lost more than his honour, I see no point in holding on to the Padma Vibhushan honour,” said the Akali stalwart in his letter to President Ram Nath Kovind.

Badal, in his letter to the President, further described the “the black laws now implemented by the government” as “the proverbial last nail in the coffin of the country’s annadata.”

This comes as thousands of farmers, primarily from Punjab and Haryana, are protesting at the borders of Delhi against the recent farm laws passed by the Central government. The farmer leaders and the Centre are engaged in talks to resolve the differences over the laws.

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