Punjab Congress President Partap Singh Bajwa on Monday asked chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to inform people about the number of families of farmers he had visited since 2007 in the state who had committed suicide.
Bajwa, in a statement, asserted that with the two successive visits of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to Punjab, the sham sympathy of Badal for the farmers stood exposed and said a rattled Badal was now trying to find political motives behind the visits.
"Badal should know that Gandhi visited the family of farmer Surjit Singh who had committed suicide without making a political show of it as he did not even talk to the media. It manifested his concern for the increasing incidence of suicides by the farmers and that too in a state like Punjab which has been the harbinger of Green Revolution.
"Badal should explain as to why there has been this sudden jump in the number of suicides by the farmers in the state over the last few years," he added.
Bajwa claimed Badal cheated the farmers in the state as he had failed to take a stand against the anti-farmer policies of the Narendra Modi government in which his daughter-in-law Harsimrat Kaur Badal was a minister.
He called upon Badal to "stop double-crossing" the people to secure the position of his daughter in the Modi cabinet.
He said people had a right to know whether Harsimrat had ever formally opposed any anti-farmer decision of the Modi government in the cabinet meetings or not.
Bajwa reminded Badal that the hike in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) has been the highest during the 10-year rule of the UPA government as everything was on the record.
He said the Modi government had played a joke on farmers by announcing a meagre hike of just Rs 50 per quintal in the MSP of paddy and the irony was that now Badal was silent.
He said Badal had been promising to the farmers that with the change in the government at the Centre, the Swaminathan Committee recommendations on the MSP would be implemented which ensure 50 per cent profit over and above the cost of production.
He asked Badal to explain the hike of Rs 50 per quintal in the price of paddy in the framework of the Swaminathan Committee recommendations.
Bajwa questioned Badal about the status of the Sikh farmers in Gujarat against whom Gujarat government has filled an SLP in Supreme Court. He should clarify his stand on this issue with Modi and tell people the truth behind this, he said.