Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday asked Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal why was he being selective in reaching out to the families of Punjab farmers who committed suicide.
“For heaven’s sake stop celebrating tragedies,” he told the Delhi CM, referring to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announcement that it will adopt the children of the farmer who recently committed suicide in Barnala over his inability to clear debt.
Amarinder pointed out that there were hundreds and hundreds of farmers who had committed suicide and their families also needed relief and rehabilitation. “Providing relief to the Barnala farmer’s family is a nice gesture, but will you also spell out what you plan to do for other families whose earning heads also committed suicide?” he asked Kejriwal.
The PPCC president told the AAP and its leadership that instead of resorting to theatrics and photo-ops, he (Kejriwal) should better come out with a plan for providing relief to the farmers. “Agriculture is too serious and sensitive an issue for someone like you to understand,” he told Delhi CM, pointing to his lack of knowledge and experience about agricultural matters, and matters of governance.
Amarinder said the agrarian problems in Punjab are too serious to be solved by photo-ops and theatrics. “You need a comprehensive policy and planning. We have already mooted a law to save debt-ridden farmers’ land or other property as a first step.” Had such a law been in place, Barnala farmer would not have been forced to commit suicide, he said.
“From past experience, we know you are fond of selling and celebrating tragedies to get a photo-op as you did after the Pathankot airbase attack and you are doing it now,” Amarinder told Kejriwal. Maintaining that coming assembly polls will be his last, Capt Amarinder said, “I’ve been a soldier and before I hang my boots, I will put a last-ditch effort to pull back Punjab, its youths and farmers from the throes of drug addiction, unemployment, debt and suicides.”
He said the decade-long Akali BJP rule had dragged down Punjab from being the No 1 state to No 19. “I wish to see Punjab back to its glory,” he told the Punjabi NRIs in Los Angeles.