24 May 2022, Chandigarh: With a view to transforming the destiny of state farmers, the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Sunday reiterated his government’s firm commitment to make agriculture an economically viable and profitable profession so as to motivate our youngsters to opt their ancestral occupation with pride and dignity.
Paying glowing tributes to the farmers from Punjab and Haryana who lost their lives during farmers’ agitation and martyrs of Galwan Valley here at Tagore Theatre this evening Bhagwant Mann, in the presence of AAP National Convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, said that today’s function organized to honour the families of valiant soldiers and farmers reflects our deep reverence and commitment for the adage ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’.
Notably, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao especially joined his counterparts from Punjab and Delhi to honour the victim families of farmers and the martyrs of Galwan Valley on the occasion to give financial assistance of Rs.3 lakh and Rs.10 lakh each respectively as a humble tribute on the behalf of the people of Telangana.
Taking a dig at the apathetic attitude of previous governments those blatantly ignored the farming sector for their myopic outlook, Bhagwant Mann said that it is really ironical that a farmer who owns the most fertile land with the highest yield as compared to any other part of the country and even across the globe was living in penury and struggling to get two square meals a day. On the contrary, his peers on foreign shores owning a land with least fertility due to harsh climatic conditions are leading an affluent life. He questioned the earlier leaderships which ruled Punjab for several decades together, “Why they could not implement farmer friendly initiatives for the welfare and prosperity of farmers who were virtually pushed in debt trap due to meager income from farming coupled with low yield and high prices of inputs thus making this occupation absolutely non-profitable.”
Bhagwant Mann said his government has taken several path-breaking initiatives like motivating farmers to sow Moong with assurance to procure on MSP, a financial incentive of Rs.1500 per acre for promotion of Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR) technology besides taking up crop diversification in a big way within just two months of taking office. He bemoaned that the previous governments made the farmers from ‘aandatta’ to ‘beggars’ and his government would make all out efforts to restore their earlier status as ‘aandattas’. He said, “The top priority of my government is to make farmers free from whopping debt.”
Paying tributes to the farmers who lost their lives at the Delhi borders during farmers’ agitation against draconian farm laws, Bhagwant Mann said, “We can’t bring back your beloved ones and monetary assistance in world’s any currency won’t compensate this enormous loss.” Remembering all those brave soldiers from Punjab, who laid down their lives while defending the country’s sovereignty and integrity, Bhagwant Mann said that their unparalleled sacrifices cannot be ignored as they defend the borders in harsh weather conditions like combating intense heat wave of 50 degree Celsius in Jaisalmer and -20 to 25 degree temperature during spine chilling cold wave in Kargil, when we are comfortably asleep at our homes.
Paying homage to the martyr soldiers and farmers who lost their lives during farm agitation, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that as Delhi model of School Education, Health Infrastructure, Mohalla Clinics and uninterrupted electricity at affordable rates have now emerged as world acclaimed models of development, for any state or country. Similarly, Kejriwal said undoubtedly Punjab would soon become a frontrunner state to come up with unique agriculture model based on advanced farming practices to boost farmers’ income with a thrust on crop diversification under the visionary leadership of Bhagwant Mann with his background as farmer and he has already made a modest beginning by taking few pro-farmer steps in agriculture sector to propel it in the high growth trajectory. Exuberating confidence, Kejriwal said that this innovative model of agriculture would be replicated by the other states in the country to improve their agrarian economy on the Punjab pattern.
Showing solidarity with the farmers, Kejriwal said that there was a tremendous pressure on his government by the Centre to stall the farmers’ agitation by converting all the stadiums of Delhi in to open jails so as to put them in jails during farmers’ struggle against the black farm laws but since he knew the significance of any mass movement as he was also at the forefront of the ‘Anna Andolan’ and therefore didn’t buckled under Central Government’s pressure.
Speaking on the occasion, while paying homage to the victim farmer families and the next of the kin of Galwan Valley martyrs, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao said that it was a commitment of his government to extend a helping hand towards these families in their hour of grief. Rao lamented that he should have come much earlier for this noble cause but somehow this couldn’t materialized due to the model code of conduct in Punjab during assembly election process.
Exhorting the farmers to resume their agitation for all the demands including MSP on all crops with constitutional guarantee from Centre, Rao said now this struggle should not be only restricted to states of Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh rather all the farmers from other states should proactively come forward for getting their genuine demands accepted from the Centre adding he mentioned that such struggle is the corner stone for ensuring welfare and prosperity of our farmers across the country. He also briefly highlighted the significant initiatives taken by his government for the promotion of crop diversification, free electricity in farm sector and overall development of farmers besides ensuring 24×7 power for all categories of consumers since his state was created in 2014 under his reigns. Rao categorically opposed the Centre’s move to install electricity meters in farm sector saying, “We have already passed a resolution in state assembly that Telangana government will not go for this in the larger interest of farming community”.
On the occasion, Telangana Chief Minister along with Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann handed over cheques worth Rs.3 lakh and Rs. 10 lakh each to 24 farmer families from Punjab and 5 from Haryana besides 4 families of martyrs of Galwan Valley from Punjab were symbolically respectively from the dias. He also assured the bereaved families of farmers and martyrs that the entire country is solidly behind them in this difficult phase. Meanwhile, 543 victim families of farmers from Punjab besides 150 farmer families and 5 martyr families of Galwan valley from Haryana were also given cheques through their nodal officers.
Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Telangana Cabinet Minister V. Prasanth Reddy and Member Parliament Nama Nageshwara Rao, National BKU leader Rakesh Tikait, Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Punjab Chief Secretary Anirudh Tewari, Additional Chief Secretary to CM A. Venu Prasad besides several MLAs who accompanied Telangana CM.