Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Sunday asked a section of agricultural trade unions as well as the Congress not to play politics over the woes of the farming community.
The party hailed the decision of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal of announcing compensation to cotton farmers whose crop has been damaged in the whitefly attack. In a statement issued here, Akali MPs Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Balwinder Singh Bhunder from the Rajya Sabha and Prem Singh Chandumajra from the Lok Sabha said Ekta, Ugrahan and few other factions of the Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) were trying to sow seeds of discontent in the peasantry.
The MPs said the government should continue to address the genuine concerns of farmers but stand firm against any attempt to disturb the social order. “The Punjab Congress leaders who have lost standing in public life suffered more humiliation when farmers’ organisations didn’t let them address their meetings,” said Dhindsa.
The statement adds that former CM Captain Amarinder Singh of the Congress, who was holidaymaking in England, has no answer as to why abandoned his parliamentary constituency of Amritsar presently and withdrew free-power facility to farmers as chief minister earlier. The MPs said the Akali government had released `540 crore for clearing the payment arrears that sugarcane farmers were waiting to claim from co-operative mills; and it was also trying to ensure that payment due from private sugar mills was also cleared.
The government, they said, was also making sure that basmati rice variety PUSA 1509 was procured at the minimum support price commensurate with the market price to avoid distress sale. The MPs said special permission had been granted to ensure paddy lifting using tractor-trailers to avoid glut at the grain markets. “The government is committed to making payments to farmers within a time frame, for which it has created a helpline in the office of the directorate of food and civil supplies in Chandigarh for the paddy season,” the statement claimed.
SAD, Farmers, Shiromani Akali Dal, Parkash Singh Badal, news, hindustantimes