Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha and former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday lamented the damage to wheat lying in the open in mandis of Punjab due to the recent rain.
"As if nature's fury was not enough, your callous indifference and negligence in not lifting the wheat in time has added to the farmers' losses," Amarinder told chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Referring to the massive damage caused to piled-up wheat sacks in grain markets, Amarinder accused the CM of taking no initiative for lifting foodgrains from grain markets, despite all warnings.
The former CM pointed out that he had been repeatedly warning the government about the possibility of rain, but nobody cared to act. "It was forecast that rain was likely to occur in Punjab and it was the government's responsibility to take measures to secure the grains," he observed, adding that the government had abdicated its responsibility.
Holding the chief minister responsible for the damage, he said, "You neither made timely purchases nor did you make any arrangements to save the grains from rain."
He asked Badal who would pay for the losses suffered by the farmers or arhtiyas (commission agents) due to government's negligence.
Amarinder added even after one-and-a-half months of the procurement season, there were places such as Muktsar, the chief minister's home district, where not even half of the wheat had been procured so far.