The farm labourers, on Thursday, started a three-day round-the-clock protest at Lambi, the constituency being represented by Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in the state assembly.
The labourers, under the banner of the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union, started gathering at Lambi in the morning and sat in a dharna near the local police station. A heavy police force was deployed on the spot to maintain law and order.
Joga Singh Nasrali, state president of the union, said the SAD-BJP government had failed to fulfil their demands, as promised during a meeting with the chief minister in April.
He claimed that Badal had promised allotment of 10-marla plots to poor people, to remove encroachments from the shamlat land, to streamline the system of issuing blue cards for subsidised rationing, to waive loans of labourers and to give adequate compensation to families of the labourers, who committed suicide in the past, bur no promise has been kept.
“It is sorry a state of affairs that the government has not met even a single commitment till date,” he said.
The union threatened to extend their three-day protest for an indefinite period if the government didn’t show a positive response towards their demands by Saturday afternoon.
The other demands of the union included land reforms, arrangements of permanent employment and end to exploitation of Dalits by ‘gau rakshak’ organisations. Lachhman Singh, general secretary of the union, said it had also come to notice that the government had issued blue cards to the people, who were not at all eligible to be covered under the scheme.
“Even the government was not serious in implementing the MNREGA scheme in the villages. We are also demanding an increase in old age, widow and handicapped pension from Rs 500 to Rs 3,000,” he said.