MPs MEETING WITH CM:Amarinder to call on Modi against MSP policy review
Terming the Agriculture Price Commission’s latest recommendation to the Centre to review the minimum support price (MSP) policy a serious threat to Punjab farmers, state Congress MPs on Wednesday urged chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh to approach the Prime Minister and urge him not to consider any such review.
At a meeting convened by the CM to discuss budget proposals for the next fiscal and various issues pending with the Centre, the MPs of both Houses decided that the CM should press upon the PM the dangers of accepting the Agriculture Price Commission’s recommendation.
Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa, who has been openly criticising the functioning of the Captain Amarinder Singh-led government for failing to fulfil promises made during 2017 polls, also attended the meeting and exchanged pleasantries and shook hands with the CM. Another Rajya Sabha MP Shamsher Singh Dullo also attended the meet.
Though Bajwa raised key issues concerning the state, he avoided any direct comment on the CM and his government’s functioning. Talking to reporters after the meeting, Bajwa said he raised issues which were critical of the government “but in a polite way”. “I don’t have any personal enmity with Amarinder. If he fulfils the pre-poll promises, I will stand by him. But if he fails to do so, I will oppose him,” said Bajwa.
Briefing the MPs on the status of the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal case, the CM asked the MPs to push for amendment to proviso of Section 12 of the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019, to protect state’s water resources.
It was decided at the meeting that officials would be deputed by the state at Punjab Bhawan in Delhi to coordinate with and brief the MPs on issues concerning Punjab.
During the discussion on the MSP and procurement, it also came to light that the state is facing an acute space crunch, which will impact delivery of rice in coming months and procurement of paddy in the next season.
A total of 34 issues, including the settlement of ₹31,000 crore of cash credit limit (CCL), were listed for discussion at the meeting as part of the agenda that the MPs have been directed to take up with the Centre.
State Congress chief Sunil Jakhar said all MPs should take up in Parliament the issue of delayed SGPC elections to break the control of the Akalis on the religious body. The tenure of the current SGPC ended in 2016.
NEED FOR EQUIPMENT TO CHECK PAK DRONES
The meeting also underlined the need for high-end precision detection equipment to check the use of drones by Pakistan to smuggle long-range weapons across the border.
The CM expressed concern over the increase in spate of activities by the ISI along the Punjab borders in the wake of growing pressure in Jammu and Kashmir.
Amarinder said he had already flagged the issue with the Centre and had written to the ministry of home affairs in August 2019 when the first of instance of use of such drones came to light.
The meeting was attended by Lok Sabha MPs Amar Singh, Jasbir Singh Gill, Chaudhary Santokh Singh, Preneet Kaur, Manish Tewari, Gurjeet Singh Aujla and Mohd Sadique and Rajya Sabha MPs Shamsher Singh Dullo and Pratap Singh Bajwa.