Congress MP from Ludhiana Ravneet Singh Bittu on Wednesday said while farmers in Punjab are struggling to make ends meet and more than 20,000 industrial units had closed down in the past nine years leading to widespread unemployment, the sight of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal with his Brazilian parrot in a newspaper is reminiscent of the proverb that Nero fiddled while Rome burned.
Pointing to the declining agricultural yield coupled with fragmentation of land that has resulted in farm crisis across the state, Bittu alleged that the SAD-BJP government in the past nine years had failed to prepare any policy to make agriculture viable. The government’s priority could be gauged from the fact that instead of arranging funds for research at Punjab Agricultural University, the state government is eyeing its prime land, he said.
Pulling up the SAD-BJP government for “letting down” the farming community, he said the government did not take action against its agriculture minister on the spurious pesticide issue, nor did it release the promised compensation to the affected cotton farmers.
Demanding the immediate release of the pending Rs 5,700 crore to paddy growers, Bittu warned the Punjab government that the Congress would undertake widespread agitation across the state if it failed to keep its promise on compensation.