People's Party of Punjab (PPP) president Manpreet Singh Badal, on Thursday, strongly condemned what he described as the meagre hike of Rs 50 per quintal in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy, announced by the NDA government, saying the ruling BJP at the Centre had shown the Akali Dal its place by ignoring the party on such a crucial issue.
In a statement, Manpreet said this hike would not cover even the increase in the cost of production during the last one year as there was no control over the prices of inputs. It is a cruel joke played upon the beleaguered farmers and the worst-affected would be paddy growing states like Punjab and Haryana.
He said that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had always been critical of the hikes in the prices of various crops by the UPA government and now, when the Narendra Modi government has just done the formality of increasing the paddy price marginally, perhaps the lowest during the last ten years, he has maintained total silence.
It was, he said, enigmatic keeping in view the fact that the chief minister had always been projecting himself as the leader, who had always articulated the cause of the farming community.
He reminded the chief minister that the Akali Dal, in its manifesto for the Lok Sabha election, had promised the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report, that had recommended a minimum profit of 50% to the farmers over the cost of inputs. Now, when the Akali Dal had its representative Harsimrat Kaur Badal in the union cabinet, farmers had been hit hard.