Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal today said the "sudden" concern of Rahul Gandhi for farmers was merely a "political stunt" as he blamed the Congress party and Gandhi family for farmers' plight across the country.
"The long spell of Congress party's misrule under Gandhi family had broken the backbone of the farmers," he said, adding, farmers have been ruined by regressive policies of the party.
"It was ironic that those responsible for farmers' plight were now shedding crocodile tears," Badal said.
Rahul Gandhi had on June 18 visited the state to meet a farmer's family who had committed suicide, barely a month after meeting and briefing the Congress vice president on the distress caused by crop loss due to unseasonal rain.
Badal said the sole purpose of the visit was to score "brownie points" rather than solving issues confronting farmers.
"Now after being rejected by the voters you are showing concern for the farmers. Where were you when your own government was taking anti-farmers decisions," he asked Rahul Gandhi.
Badal said ever-escalating farm input costs coupled with non-remunerative MSP for corps have rendered agriculture a non-profitable venture.
He also said the government was prepared to give a befitting reply to the Congress party's 'Privilege Motion' in the Assembly on the issue of power.
"In a democratic system, it is right of the Opposition to bring such motions and the government would reply to it with facts to their satisfaction," he said.
"I hold Opposition in high esteem and welcome them to a healthy debate on any issue," Badal added.
Referring to the issue of ensuring continuous power supply to the farmers during ongoing paddy season, the chief minister expressed satisfaction over the arrangements made by Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL).
He said the state government has made all out efforts to ensure uninterrupted power supply to farmers and domestic consumers even in the pick season.