Bathinda: Following the statement by Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal that Punjab did not need a financial package for farmers to compensate them for the crop loss, People’s Party of Punjab chief Manpreet Singh Badal on Wednesday slammed her for “overlooking the fact” that farmers had been committing suicides and their agitation had been going on for two weeks.
Manpreet challenged Harsimrat’s observation that the calamity was manmade saying it had been compounded due to the criminal nexus between government officials and pesticide suppliers.
“As a Union minister from Punjab, Harsimrat is supposed to be the voice of the state at the Centre. However, by taking the stand contrary to that of her own party’s government in the state on the issue of financial package for farmers, she has virtually sabotaged the Parkash Singh Badal government, thereby losing the moral right to continue in the Narendra Modi cabinet,” Manpreet alleged.
He alleged that the Union minister had put salt into the wounds of farmers by saying that they had suffered due to natural calamity. “The calamity might be natural but it has been aggravated due to the spurious pesticides supplied by the government as the Rs 33 crore scandal stands exposed,” he said.
Manpreet said the people were already up in arms against her, and that too in her parliamentary constituency of Bathinda as is evident from her functions at Bhikhi and Goniana, where people showed her black flags and she had to take a detour to reach the venues.
“Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal must clarify on the financial package. In case she had taken a stand contrary to that of the state government, what action he proposes to take against her,” he said, adding that she should at least stop mocking at the people in crisis.