Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday dismissed deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s claim of having resolved issues related to farmers’ loans under an agricultural bill, saying it is a ‘mere eyewash’ by his government.
He dismissed the government’s claim of having resolved issues related to farmers’ loans from ‘arhtiyas’ (commission agents) under the Punjab Settlement of Agricultural Indebtedness Bill, 2016, saying it was a mere ‘eyewash’ by the Badal government.
He also ridiculed AAP’s impassive efforts to ‘copy’ the Congress campaign to reach out to the farmers of Punjab.
“The pathetic response to the AAP protests against tardy procurement in mandis reflects the party’s gross failure in realising its ambitions to seize control of the state in the upcoming elections,” he said.
AAP, led by Arvind Kejriwal, has absolutely no connect with the farmers, not is it cognizant of their woes, said Amarinder, adding that the people have already rejected the party, as evident from the poor response to its mandi programmes.
Both the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are resorting to all kinds of gimmicks and false claims in a desperate bid to woo the farmers ahead of the Assembly elections in the state, said Amarinder.
The Bill, passed earlier this year in the State Assembly, would not bring any relief to the debt-ridden farmers of the state, said Amarinder, terming Badal’s claim as ‘misleading’ and aimed at once again ‘befooling’ the people of Punjab, particular debt-ridden farmers.
Reacting strongly to Badal’s statement, terming the Bill as a ‘big step forward’ in resolving the problems of the debt-burdened farmers, Amarinder said it was a deceptive remark aimed at hoodwinking the farmers of Punjab.
Far from providing a framework for assessment and settlement of non-institutional agricultural debt, as claimed by Sukhbir, the Bill was only targeted at resolving disputes between farmers and money lenders and not, in any way, designed to provide relief to the farmers reeling under debt burden, he said.
Amarinder came down heavily on the Badal government for the ‘distressing situation’ in which the farmers were living for the past 10 years, with no sign of any relief measures in sight.
“You cannot delude the people any longer into believing your brazen falsehoods. They have seen through your nefarious designs, having suffered due to your government’s blatantly anti-people policies,” said Amarinder, charging Sukhbir with living in a delusional world, far removed from reality.
Amarinder reiterated his party’s commitment to alleviating the woes of the aggrieved farmers of Punjab, with farm debts contributing Rs 35,000 crore to the total rural indebtedness in the state.
He also said that all debts of the farmers will be immediately waived off once his party is in power.