India Region

AAP Government Has Ruined Punjab’s Agricultural Economy: Shiromani Akali Dal

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Report by Jag Mohan Thaken 

26 April 2024, Chandigarh: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Congress are cornering the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab on farmer-related issues. 

Shiromani Akali Dal’s president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday alleged that after denying compensation to farmers, chief minister Bhagwant Mann was sprinkling salt on their wounds by not lifting their hard-earned wheat produce resulting in complete clogging of all grain markets in the State.

Badal, who visited the Mahuana and Malout grain markets, witnessed firsthand how farmers are being harassed. He also interacted with farmers and assured them that in case the lifting of wheat did not start from mandis, SAD would agitate to ensure justice was done to them.

No Compensation for Flood and Hail Storms

The SAD president further said that it was shocking that while farmers were suffering in the grain markets, the chief minister was visiting Assam and Gujarat. “Last year when Punjab was hit by floods, the chief minister chose to abrogate his responsibilities and run away to facilitate Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Convener Arvind Kejriwal’s visits to other States”.

Asserting that farmers had been dealt a double blow, Badal said, “Farmers are already reeling from non-payment of compensation for damage to wheat during hail storms earlier. Now when they have brought their harvest to the market, they are facing difficulties in getting it procured”.

Badal said the AAP government had ruined the agricultural economy of the State during the last two years. “Farmers are yet to receive compensation for crops damaged due to flooding and hail storms. The chief minister reneged on his promise to ensure advance relief of Rs 25,000 per acre to farmers for crop relief. The AAP government also failed to procure pulses and maize crops despite tall promises that they would be procured in entirety”.

Urging the peasantry to teach a befitting lesson to the anti-farmer AAP government which had also colluded with the Haryana government to suppress the ongoing farmer agitation, Badal said “I appeal to Punjab to seal the borders of Punjab with their votes to ensure Delhi-based parties are not able to capture their mandate and betray them again”.

Allegations from Congress  

Congress has also slammed the Punjab government for failure to resolve the farmers issues. The Leader of the Opposition (LoP), Partap Singh Bajwa on Thursday lambasted the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann for shamelessly reneging from its pre-assembly-poll promises of providing minimum support price (MSP) on 23 crops. 

“In an interview with a private media platform, CM Mann said that he cannot provide MSP because it is the Union Government that is supposed to provide MSP. Mann said he can only provide the farmers with compensation”, Bajwa added. 

Voted for Minimum Support Price on 23 Crops

Senior Congress Leader Bajwa said that before the assembly elections in the state, CM Mann and Tourism Minister Anmol Gagan Mann had vowed to procure 23 crops at MSP once the AAP formed the government. They used to condemn the Congress government for not providing MSP. 

“After winning the assembly elections, Mann committed to procuring Moong Dal crop at MSP, however, he failed terribly to keep his promise. Consequently, the farmers were forced to sell their crops to private players at lower prices”, Bajwa added. 

The opposition leader said that the AAP government couldn’t even provide the farmers with compensation, whose paddy, sugarcane, cotton and other crops were damaged due to the worst-ever floods last year. Wheat crops were also damaged by hail storms this year yet no compensation was given. 

“The Kerala government provides MSP on fruits, vegetables and some other crops as well. If Kerala can do this why can’t the Punjab government? Asks Bajwa.  

Bajwa said that CM Bhagwant Mann has no moral ground to go to the farmers and seek their votes as he has failed to fulfill his promises to the farmers.

Also Read: TERI and Chambal Fertilisers Introduce ‘Uttam Pranaam’: A revolutionary step towards Sustainable Farming

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