National spokesperson of the BJP Kisan Morcha and assistant media adviser to the state government, Vineet Joshi on Friday accused the Leader of Opposition in the Punjab assembly, Sunil Jakhar of being both insensitive and non-serious towards farmers' issues but also asked him to ponder over the damage his party has done by pursuing "anti-farmer" policies in the past 10 years of the UPA rule.
Joshi said this in response to Jakhar's demand for a special day during the forthcoming Punjab assembly session to discuss farmers' issues. Accusing Jakhar of faking his sentiments, Joshi questioned the timing and motive of the demand, especially given that the mega-agriculture summit was yet another testimony to the fact that Parkash Singh Badal-led SAD-BJP combine in the state has always pushed for farmers' interests.
"Why did the Leader of Opposition not choose to get these issues raised in the Parliament session? The fact remains that the demand is nothing more than a gimmick to score brownie points ahead of the elections," he said.
Joshi dared Jakhar to seek a reply from AICC president Sonia Gandhi on why the recommendations of the Swaminathan commission have not been implemented ever since 2006 when its report was tabled. The implementation of the recommendations would have meant that farmers in the country would have been richer by `1 lakh crore every year, he said.
"Jakhar also needs to ask the Centre on why it is silent on the demand from the SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab to have a separate agriculture budget, just like the railway budget, in the country," questioned Jakhar.
"Over 1.45 lakh farmer suicides have taken place in the country. The UPA-I and II need to answer why farmers were driven to suicide during their regime," Joshi asked.