Senior Punjab Congress leader Sunil Jakhar on Friday slammed the Centre for barring cooperative banks from accepting Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes, saying such a step had totally crippled the rural and agrarian economy.
Addressing a press conference here, Jakhar said the move had directly hit small and marginal farmers as most of them had accounts in these banks only. “Where the farmers will now deposit their cash comprising the scrapped notes now?” he asked.
“In one stroke, the Prime Minister has applied brakes on the agrarian economy, quite contrary to his electoral promise of ensuring two-fold increase in farmers’ income,” Jakhar said.
ON KEY POLL ISSUES
Jakhar said that the Congress would not allow the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), especially the Badals, to take any political mileage over the SYL issue. “Badals cannot escape the other key issues like the drug menace, illegal mining and law and order as these would remain in focus in the assembly elections,” he said.
‘SPEAKER COMPROMISED FOR TICKET TO SON’
Meanwhile, Jakhar accused assembly speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal of showing a bias towards the ruling Akalis in the House just for getting party ticket for his son in the coming assembly polls.
“Speaker Atwal Sahib refused to take up a no-confidence motion moved by the Congress in the monsoon session and compromised on fairness as he wanted ticket for his son, which the latter finally got,” he said. The speaker’s son, Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, has been fielded by SAD from Raikot constituency.
When contacted, Atwal, said, “Jakhar’s father (Balram Jakhar) had also served as speaker in the Lok Sabha, so he should have given a thought before saying so.”
He said he had always been giving the Opposition all the time and opportunity they deserved in the House.