In a race between the political parties to woo farmers, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Captain Amarinder Singh allayed apprehensions about feasibility of farm debt waiver in view of Punjab’s uncertain financial situation on Thursday.
Reiterating his announcement to waive off farm debt during ‘Kisan Chetna Dharna’ organised by the party’s Kisan Cell here, he said that the farmers’ debt waiver was also the national policy of the Congress party and expressed that the massive fall in the crude oil prices in the international market had saved the country about Rs 3 lakh crore as the central government did not provide and pass on the corresponding proportionate benefit to the consumers.
“We are asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to spare some money from this huge amount for providing debt relief to the farmers,” he said, while asserting that it is the duty of everyone including the government of India to save the farmers from committing suicide.
Reacting to Badal’s claims that nobody can waive off farmers’ loans and allegations that Captain Amarinder was misleading the farmers about it, he said: “Just because you (Parkash Singh Badal) are incompetent and incapable doesn’t mean everyone else is and I will show how it is done.”
He pointed out that during his previous tenure, he had waived off all the loans taken from cooperative banks. He said that in the process of working out a solution with the public sector banks, he lost power and SAD-BJP took over who never bothered to follow it up.
He justified the loan waiver saying agriculture was the pivot of the economy. “When farmer will be prosperous only then the labourers working for him will prosper and so will the arthiyas,” he said. “If agriculture will collapse, the entire economic edifice will crumble down and we are already having the warning signals.”
Meanwhile, taking on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Amarinder announced that he will contest against Delhi chief minister (CM) in the next assembly polls from whichever assembly segment will he contest.
Questioning Kejriwal’s loyalty towards Punjab he said, “Being from Haryana, will Kejriwal take stand in support of Punjab on crucial issues that Punjab has with Haryana including Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal, Punjab’s claim on Chandigarh and on Punjabi speaking areas in Haryana.”
Congress general secretary and the chairperson of the campaign committee, Ambika Soni warned people against the alluring promises made by the AAP. She said, “The party had completely been exposed with one scandal being revealed after another.
Former PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa said that main objective of the struggle launched by the party was to press the centre to announce one-time waiver of farmers’ loans.
The party’s in-charge for Punjab, Asha Kumari said that while the Congress party had launched a campaign for the loan waiver for farmers, Rahul Gandhi had launched a month long programme in Uttar Pradesh with a similar mission.
The protest was also addressed by MLAs Ajit Inder Singh Mofar, Ajaib Singh Bhatti, and party leaders Manpreet Singh Badal, Inderjeet Singh Zira, Gurpreet Singh Kangar and Narinder Bhaleria.