After the Punjab farmers’ bodies blocked the rail traffic on the non-procurement of their wheat crop, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Partap Singh Bajwa has announced the party’s protest for the farmers’ cause by blocking the trains in the state on May 2.
Announcing the party’s ‘rail roko’ programme for an hour (noon to 1 pm), Bajwa in a statement here condemned SAD MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal for her assertions in Parliament against the Congress on the farmers’ plight.
“Harsimrat made a mockery of the misery of farmers of Punjab by taking an imprudent stand in Parliament. Instead of waking up the Modi and Badal governments from their deep slumber, she is trying to gain political brownie points. Being food processing minister, what has she done for Punjab’s agriculture sector so far,” Bajwa questioned.
He alleged that wheat, potato, sugarcane, milk and agro-forestry were in a mess in Punjab and Harsimrat was taking “a pathetic and shameful stand” in Parliament and giving wrong data on wheat procurement on the floor of the House.
He asserted that Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the mandis in Punjab had shaken the governments at the Centre and in Punjab. However, the Punjab government was still to wake up from the deep slumber despite having received such a jolt, he added.
Bajwa said the Congress demanded immediate lifting of wheat crop and release of payment to farmers, as the non-payment was causing immense harassment to them.
The party has demanded Rs 200 per quintal as bonus on wheat and compensation for the crops damaged due to persistent inclement weather.
He also demanded that crop insurance should be implemented and the government should pay the premium for the insurance.“I apologise to the rail commuters in advance for the inconvenience they might face due to the agitation but the issues are much bigger,” he added.
He said the ‘rail roko’ programme was the first phase of the ‘jan andolan’ being launched by the Congress against the “anti-people policies” of the Badal government.